Tasnim Shamma

  Welcome to “A Trifling Place,” a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.

So about a month ago, reporter Lisa Miller handed me a book called How To Speak Southern. It has some funny tips on how to exaggerate a Southern drawl – but it wasn't too surprising – I mean, it's pretty easy to identify a Southern accent.  But it got me thinking – I have no idea what a Charlottean sounds like. In New York, I can easily tell what part of the city you're from by your accent. In Charlotte, I still can't tell the tourists apart from the people who live here. So that's one reason we launched The Charlotte Accent Project … on a quest to find the one true Charlotte accent. 

What's The Charlotte Accent?

Apr 26, 2013
Tasnim Shamma

When you "talk,"  do you say "tawk" or "tock?" What does it mean to have a Charlotte accent? If you were born in the Charlotte region (or even if you’re a newcomer like me), we want to know what you sound like. 

So we've started a new project to collect your voices called The Charlotte Accent Project. We'll publish your recordings and photos on the radio as well as our web site, Tumblr blog, Facebook and Twitter

Tasnim Shamma / flickr/lumierefl

OK, lots of cities have a Square. There’s Red Square, Times Square, St. Peter’s Square to name a few.

And then … there’s Independence Square. Where’s that, you ask? Charlotte – at the intersection of Trade and Tryon.

In case you didn’t know, this intersection is where a Native American trading path - Trade Street – crossed what used to be called the Great Wagon Road, which we now know as Tryon.  

Today, the intersection is named Independence Square to recognize the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. County leaders signed the document on May 20, 1775, declaring freedom from tyranny … I mean England … more than a year before the Continental Congress did it in Philly.

Four statues at each corner of the intersection further distinguish the square. These statues are the subject of this edition of A Trifling Place

Library of Congress

WFAE listeners have e-mailed me about how we should probably change the title of this podcast. They find it offensive. One listener says it reminds him of  "small, off-the-beaten path, lonely, dismal, dark places" and surely, surely, it's not Charlotte that President George Washington was talking about. 

A Trifling Place, Episode 1: Where Are You From?

Jan 4, 2013
Tasnim Shamma

President George Washington called Charlotte a "trifling place." That's how our founding father described the city during a visit in 1791. But it's certainly changed since then. Welcome to "A Trifling Place," a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.