“The CDC has reported an outbreak of ‘Dialect Identity Confusion’ in the northeast United States. D.I.C. (As it has been dubbed by the scientific community) is defined as a speech condition that afflicts a person with an unnatural accent or dialect which they can not control. In the past annals of respected medical journals, there have only been a few isolated cases worldwide. These very rare linguistic anomalies were associated solely with brain injuries. The new strain affecting those in the New England states does not appear to be brought about by head trauma or seizures. We go now live to the regional authority in charge of investigating this perplexing new phenomenon.
Welcome Dr. Chaim Rosenberg. What can you tell us about D.I.C.?”
“How y’all doin’ out there in TV land? We are doin’ our best to nail this darn thing down. We’re fixin’ to run some tests on the patients to see what we can see.”
“Ummmm. Thank you… Doctor. Please keep us apprised of your progress in treating this baffling affliction. On a more personal note, can you tell us if the experience is confusing or painful to you?”
“I have no idea, Darlin’. Even if I caught the contagious D.I.C. strain going around, you’d never know it. I grew up in Birmingham Alabama. This is how I normally speak.”
The news anchor couldn’t suppress her laughter at the misunderstanding. She attempted to explain the obvious when Dr. Rosenberg interrupted. “Oh, you assumed a Jewish doctor named Rosenberg presiding over a major health crisis in Boston Massachusetts couldn’t possibly have a natural southern accent?
Well bless yer heart! Heaven knows you aren’t the first to make that assumption. It’s alright. Just because I grew up in the heart of Dixie doesn’t mean I can’t solve why all of these Yankees up here sound so intelligent all of a sudden.”
The anchor, the doctor, and the studio crew had several minutes of on-air hysterics at the unlikely scenario. The good Doctor’s self-depreciating sense of humor was a welcome break from the troubling news. Finally her producer reminded her that despite the coincidence, it was a serious, newsworthy matter. She composed herself and started reciting again from the ‘camera one’ teleprompter.
“Panic has gripped large portions of New England as the condition has spread through entire communities. Not only do the victims speak with a noticeable Southern drawl, they are also using authentic expressions and regional colloquialisms. So far, there has been no concrete evidence that this condition will abate over time.”