I was born and raised in Tennessee, primarily by a mother who was born in Canada.
So I can't really say I had the "typical" growing up in the South experience. I didn't even eat biscuits and gravy until I was in college or attend a NASCAR event until I was in my thirties.
I don't say ain't or reckon or use "fixin to" instead of saying going to. My mother would have killed me for anything less than perfect grammar. (I do say y'all but really, saying you guys sounds just plain weird.)
Still, somehow I managed to escape the South with a sweet southern accent that I maintain today, nearly 6 years after I moved away from the land of sweet tea and barbecue.
And I seriously doubt it's going anywhere anytime soon.
I don't have a huge drawl. It's more like a hint of a accent, but in Las Vegas, it makes me somewhat unique.
It also drives the boys crazy.
I have been told that the contrast between my sweet, sexy southern accent and the naughty words that I say is very erotic.
Recently I met a nice guy online. After our first over the phone conversation he IM'd me: "You got me so turned on. Didn't know what to say. You just sound like a nice girl with no evil thoughts."
It's the accent. It gets 'em every time!