KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) _ Watching a rerun of a television sitcom may not sound like the most romantic activity, but Jeff Smith decided he couldn't think of a better time to pop the question.

Smith, 25, bought 30 seconds of air time during a local station's broadcast of ''It's A Living'' to propose to Rhonda Munn.

Smith made sure Ms. Munn was at home watching station WETO with him Sunday night when his advertisement appeared midway through the show. The commercial showed Smith sitting in a chair listening to the Beach Boys' song ''Help Me Rhonda'' as he proposed marriage.

The hopeful groom said Ms. Munn was so bewildered by the sight of him on television that he had to get down on one knee and ask a second time for her to marry him.

''It was like she couldn't quite understand what was happening'' when the ad ran, he said. ''She was laughing and confused.''

It only took Ms. Munn a few seconds before responding in the affirmative to Smith's real-life proposal, he said.

Both Smith and Ms. Munn, 26, live in Kingsport. They work as chemical engineers for different companies and began dating about 18 months ago.

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DALLAS (AP) - Taking the twang out of Texas is the job of a diction teacher from Detroit who helps natives rid themselves of regional speech, with an accent instead on efficient communication.

For $225, Margo Manning is offering Texans a chance to remove the twang from their talk.

''Is Your Texas Showing?'' the diction teacher from Detroit asks in a newspaper advertisement for her six weekly lessons.

Students are taught to drop the drawl and pronounce words fully, speak in more clipped fashion and breathe from the diaphragm.

''Since Texas became more of a melting pot in the last six or seven years, people are more aware of the need to sound less regional,'' said Ms. Manning, who operates an acting studio in Las Colinas.

Carol Huckin, born and reared in Dallas, was a recent student.

''My accent was always so strong that people listened to my voice rather than what I was saying,'' she said. ''People at parties looked at me and smiled when I wasn't saying anything funny,'' she told The Dallas Morning News.

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MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) - Theirs is a love match sparked at a car wash, and that's where Judith Couch and Robert Barker tied the knot on Valentine's Day.

Florida Car Wash cashier Ms. Couch and manager Barker met in June at work. When he proposed several months later, owner Bob Harrington suggested they wed where the romance began.

''They work here, they met here, they fell in love here. I thought it was a natural kind of thing,'' said Ray Barker, father of the groom.

Wedding guests pronounced the site romantic, although one had a wry observation.

''This is one of the few car washes in Florida that's 'touchless,''' noted Robin King. ''Let's hope the marriage is not.''