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If y’all have a thick accent, y’all might be told to “kiss mah grits” when applying for jobs, the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION reports.

A heavy regional accent works against job candidates, according to a University of North Texas study. The researchers had 56 executives listen to recordings of 10 college-educated men — all from different parts of the country — reading the same passage. The recruiters were found to have several accent-based prejudices.

For instance, they generally perceived candidates with a Southern drawl as stupid and assigned them to jobs where they would have minimal contact with the public. A candidate with a New Jersey accent was perceived as uneducated and hostile and deemed the “least employable” of the 10. Those with neutral accents ranked the highest.

Such biases against people with accents have become “an acceptable form of discrimination,” according to one of the researchers (whose North-Texas slang unfortunately made her seem less credible).

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