<quote> Having a stupid accent is a conscious decision. </quote> No, no it really isn't. I notice that if I spend more than one week with a particular group of people on and off, I start using their speech patterns, including pronunciation, tonality, etc. Every now and again, I cringe over something that I've unconsciously mimicked. Getting rid of a stupid accent is the conscious decision, and not an easy one. There's a reason people suggest full immersion language learning.
This. I have a couple of relatives that grew up in the exact same area with the exact same accents, but 10-20 years later their accents now reflect where they moved to (Kansas, Georgia, South Carolina). Though their accents aren't as heavy as the average joe from the area, it still clearly isn't what it used to be.
At the same time, I moved someone only a few hours or so away from where I grew up. My coworkers occasionally make fun of my accent, while I didn't notice a difference. I finally visited home again after a year, and I immediately knew what my coworkers were making fun of.
On a similar topic, is that some kind of phenomenon? Where you don't notice your own accent?