I have lived a few places in my more than 63 years of life on planet earth and have often been asked where I got my accent. Now to my ears, I have none, but to others I do. I always answer that I am a bit of a mutt. Growing up in various parts of Ohio, early married years in Florida, Pennsylvania and Illinois, a couple longer stints in North Carolina and finally more than a few years in Iowa with an Australian adventure added in. Oh, and don’t forget my time in Alabama. Now you understand how my speech might be a little mixed up.
A lot of folks in the south get a bad rap for using language that is less than perfect. Well, it’s just not true but of course stereotypes are difficult to break. That’s why this booklet caught my eye recently and I had to borrow it to see what it was all about.
Of course this booklet is widely entertaining and conveniently split into 3 parts. First up – correct definitiions.
This is followed up by a massive listing of authentic words of southern highlands and coastal dialect English.
The final section includes superstitions associated with the south.
It is not a book that I would take seriously or keep for a long time but it was fun to pick it up and read it and laugh a bit.
The one time that comes to mind when I had a horrible time making myself understood was when we lived in Australia. I had to renew my passport while we lived there and I could just not get the right answers for the automated message. The prompt would ask me a question and when I answered with what I felt was the correct answer, the system would inform me that it was not a valid response. I remember being so frustrated because I knew what I was saying was correct, but apparently not in Australia.
Language is such a vital part of our day to day interactions and when we aren’t understood, it becomes very frustrating. It was fun to read this lighthearted book and get a chuckle out of it. No disrespect meant for any Yankees reading this post—I have been called that and more.
Have a great day!