Don't you all know that Americans don't have accents....everyone else does!
Help, my son has turned American !
When I was 8 I had a killer English accent from watching Monty Python--yeah I don't think my parents realized where it came from, they just found it hillarious.
Then I used to be able to do a great Aussie accent because I lived and breathed tha movie The Man from Snowy River--I watched it until I burned a hole in the VHS tape.
In college I had to adopt an English accent to be in a play--it came right back to me and I could sustain it without even giving it much thought, but sadly my Aussie rip off has totally died and I can't bring it back--it just sounds stupid.
Kids are amazing micmics! It's what kids are programmed to do. They play house, and office, and it's how they learn. It's no wonder with the advent of movies and games with accents that they be able to pick them up so easily without even trying. (If you watch any movie with a kid under 14 you know how they love to repeat the lines of the movies over and over and over again.)
There were actually some studies done, I forget where now, we talked about it in my linguistics class, that if you move between the ages of 16-23 for girls, and 11-19 for boys, you will pick up the accent where it is you move--it seems after that our accents become cemented. However, there are indiviuals who no matter where they go will pick up the accent. (I happen to be one, it's horrible actually--travelling in the south I always start picking up the twang, and I always worry that people will think I am making fun of them). I am just an impressionable youth I guess.
Xena ... I'm, well ... shocked !
I know I know....that French comment was WAY HARSH wasn't it????