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La_chica_gomela's avatar

How were the audience members of last night's debate chosen? (If you're from the south, please read this Q especially)

Asked by La_chica_gomela (12488 points ) October 8th, 2008

I’m watching it right now on the New York Times website, and of the two questions that have been asked so far, the audience-members used the thickest, most country-sounding “talk” I’ve heard in a long time. Here’s the thing. I’m from Nashville.

What’s your take on this issue? My initial reaction was that these bumpkins were chosen specifically to sound like people think “Nashvillians” should. But I’ve only heard two of them, so maybe it’s just a coincidence.

Does anyone know how these people were actually chosen or just want to say something about the issue?

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7 Answers

Snoopy's avatar

Apparently they were selected by Gallup from a pool of “undecided voters” from the Nashville area.

Keep watching. Some of the people are obviously trasplants to Nashville, w/ nice, easy to understand Midwestern accents :)

jsc3791's avatar

Since you live in the South, I will ask you this: do you ever notice that when they pick someone “from the South” to represent us on TV, it is always the biggest hick they could find? They either wear a giant cowboy hat or talk with an intelligible drawl! I am from Kentucky and LOVE LOVE LOVE the South, including the accent. By why is it that it is always these types of people chosen to represent us?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Yes! jsc!!! That’s exactly what I was getting at!! I love the South, I love country music, but I hate to see it being pegged into a narrow caricature!

Snoopy, I just have to comment, I didn’t find them hard-to-understand at all, and I think you’re missing my point, that not everyone who was born and raised in Nashville talks like those two people!!! I would be willing to bet hard money that those same people you just assume were transplants, may well be natives like me.

Snoopy's avatar

Not being from Nashville myself, I trust your judgement :)

On another note, as you watch the debate….some of the “undecided” voters seem to sure act like they were decided. Fakers!
:)

La_chica_gomela's avatar

thank you! :)
and LOLLLL to the second part!

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Okay, follow up, after 45 minutes, they took a 3rd audience question, from one “Lindsey Trello”, and from a linguistic point of view, she sounded like many Nashvillians I know. If you know what to listen for, you can hear evidence of the southern vowel shift in her speech.

One thing I picked up on, when she says “healthcare” the “a” in “care” is dipthonized. If any other dorks find highly interesting like I do, and want to see for themselves, you can go to the link in the “details” section, and scroll to minute 46. Dipthongization means, in laymans terms, the word “care” sounds more like “cay-ure”.

I don’t know if this is one of the people you were referring to, but these types of things are so subtle, most people just assume that the person is not from the south.

Fieryspoon's avatar

You mean you’re not all like that in the south?

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