Oak Ridge lab cancels class intended to curb southern drawls

Associated Press • Jul 29, 2014 at 1:57 PM

OAK RIDGE — The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has canceled a class to teach employees how to reduce their southern accents.

The move comes after some employees complained about the course that was advertised as a way to "feel confident in a meeting when you need to speak with a more neutral American accent, and 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 and 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.

Keim noted that the lab has a diverse work population, with people from all over the U.S. and abroad.

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