National lab cancels class to reduce Southern accents

  • Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 1:52 p.m.
    UPDATED: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 1:54 p.m.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) — Some employees at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee complained about a class aimed at teaching them how to reduce their Southern accents. Now, managers are calling the whole thing off.

The course had been advertised as a way to feel confident in meetings, when one might need to speak with a more neutral accent. The class was touted as a way to “be remembered for what you say and not how you say it.”

Carolyn Ward of ORNL’s Learning and Development Services told the Knoxville News Sentinel that an employee requested the class, so it was offered for others too.

ORNL spokesman David Keim said the class “probably wasn’t presented in the right way” and managers decided to cancel it after other employees complained.

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