Having been out of Doniphan for almost 10 years now, I like to think I’ve shed most of the elongated vowels and dropped Gs characteristic of my native accent.
I’m not saying they don’t come out when I’m tired or inebriated, and I fully acknowledge that there are some words I will never master — “egg” still comes out sounding like “aiyag” — but for the most part, I don’t think the New Yorkers I speak with on the phone can tell that I’m from the sticks. Actually, scratch that. New Yorkers think anything outside the five boroughs is the sticks, so their opinions don’t matter.
Anyway, I was pleased to learn that other species alter their accents depending on where they’re living. NPR reported today that goats modify their calls depending on what the rest of their herds sound like.
I like to think there’s a little Ripley County goat frolicking up here with the Mid-Missouri goats. It probably took her a while to get used to their customs, and I’m sure there were times she wanted to hightail it back to the Bootheel, but I hope that little goat is as happy as I am.