Gut Rumbles
 

October 16, 2003

i write better than i talk

I have a Southern accent. I drop the "g" off the end of gerunds, so I say talkin,' climbin,' smokin,' and runnin' instead of speaking standard American English the way Dan Rather does as he lies his ass off on the CBS Evening News.

I say y'all. I have 'druthers. I know how far yonder is. I know how to see 'bout that. Whatchadoon is a real word to me.

That's the reason I don't like to talk on the phone. I sound like a goddam hick. I AM a goddam hick, but I am educated and I can communicate well when I want to. Where I live, everybody understands me just fine when I say, "Whatchadoon? I'd 'druther ya not go 'bout it that way. Lemme show ya sumpin. Thadded be better, doncha think?" That's Southern English and it works well in person-to-person communication.

Try that shit over the phone when you're talking to a yankee. I doesn't work. The yankee gets all nasal, I talk Southern and the next thing you know, we may as well be from foreign countries. That's why I would prefer to write to someone I don't know. I can appear to be halfway intelligent on paper.

I've done a lot of thinking about this communication gap. I COULD be like the BC and talk like a yankee at work and sound like the biggest hayseed on the farm at Quinton's football games, but I'm not a chameleon, able to change my skin color and blend into the scenery the way she can. Everything that woman does is an act and she wears many masks. I'm not built that way. Like Popeye, I am what I am and that's all that I am.

Sometimes, that's not the right way to be. Honesty is not always the best policy.

Just ask a lizard.

Comments

Southern accents are no more "hick" than midwestern ones, Long Island ones, Cali ones, or any other variation of the mid-atlantic pap that comes out of announcers' mouths.

Posted by: Jane Finch on October 16, 2003 08:05 AM

Hey, don't group ALL yanks as nasal, whiny pseudoeuroshits. (say that five times fast)

Some of us order our meals with the fixin's, have grits with breakfast, and hate boston accents. Granted, we're probably all transplanted southerners, but... Whatchagonnado?

People who get all anal-retentive over southern accents and go off on some smarter-than-thou tirade need to take a happy pill and get laid. So long as someone knows what the hell they're talking about, I don't care if it's northern, southern, or mandarin fooking chinese.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on October 16, 2003 08:39 AM

My Massachusetts mother-in-law once told my Mainer father in law that he should tone down his accent. My Alabaman response was "Why should he?" "Ayup," he said, "Why should aye?"

Posted by: Brett on October 16, 2003 09:11 AM

Lenny Bruce once did a skit on the Southern / Western accent and how it handicapped LBJ. He said (and I'm paraphrasing): "It was the accent that did Johnson in. He could have been the smartest man in the world, but it all came out as, 'Folks, ah thank nuc'lr fission - ' 'Shaddup, schmuck, you don't think nothin!'

"We've forgiven the Japs once, the Germans twice, but we've been kicking the South in the ass since the Civil War."

And there's no accent I hate more than a stupid Noo Yawk blare. But that's because I'm from Boston. . .

Posted by: Ripper on October 16, 2003 09:13 AM

You're what is known as a Mountain William...an educated hill-billy........MB should know; she married one.........it's FUN !! [and she learned to translate real fast, too]

Posted by: MommaBear on October 16, 2003 12:08 PM

I don't like southerners (i.e. Yanks) either but I fail to see what make Southern (e.g. Acidmans) english so difficult for them to swallow.

Up north of the yanks, "druthers" are well known and used in formal conversation and writing, and verbally dropping your g's and what not , isn't exactly tough to follow. Just eccentric.

Not like talking to outport Newfies. Now *that's* a foreign language.

Nevermind backwoods Quebecois french.
Don't even ask.

Fred

Posted by: Fred on October 16, 2003 12:47 PM

There is a big difference between "southern" and "hick," between "country" and "redneck."

I've been trying to ascertain which category ACIDMAN falls into, but I don't know whether he rolls up his T-shirt sleeves or how many animal heads he has on his walls. I know he's more intelligent than your average "Bubba."

I'm southern, born and raised in the classic city, with a severe appreciation for rustic charm and acres of hardwoods.

Am I a chameleon? Absolutely. It's easier for women.

Posted by: Christine on October 16, 2003 04:51 PM

Betcha if we talked on the phone and you didn't already know where I'm from, you'd never be able to tell.
I've been a waitress plenty of times. Usually, I tend to be more comfortable in diners and places where truckers stop than I am in hoity-toity, artsy-farsty places. 99% of my customers were wandering Southerners. And, 99% of those guys asked me "Where down South y'all from, Honey?" and I took it as a compliment. I'd much rather be taken as Southern than Yankee. In my heart I am Southern, 'cause I just love the South so much. And, it comes outta my mouth naturally.
I write my blog the way I talk, sure. But, I can write letters to lawyers and Judges and such people and 'sound' just like them ,too, when I need to.
I'm kinda like an older muscle car verbally. I may need to polish it up sometimes, but when I put my foot into it, I can blow a shitload of people right offa the road. It's kind of a pain in the ass to have to, but it's nice to know I can.
I'd understand you perfectly, A-man.

Posted by: Stevie on October 16, 2003 05:23 PM

I'm a 'natural chameleon', I pick up accents and mannerisms in minutes. That's just me, no act.
Acidman, you are right, your intelligence does show in your writting. Your posts may sound like you're struggilng for your GED, but if they 'listen' to what you say, uneducated people do not communicate the way you do. Your work does show thought and education.
That doesn't help with your phone voice, but if they 'listen' to what you have to say, then you still have them.
Andy and Barney dispensed pearls of wisdom for years and even us DAMN YANKEES listened. And yeah, I'm a DAMN YANKEE, wuddenyano.

Posted by: Wichi Dude on October 16, 2003 05:24 PM

"Artsy-FARTsy"...My biggest problem is transposing letters when I type sometimes (damn it.). I'm not dyslexic, I just try to type too fast.
But, I do get to make up some new and wholly unusual words that way...lol.

Posted by: Stevie on October 16, 2003 05:27 PM

Speaking of dyslexia...
Did y'all hear about the insomniac, agnostic dyslexic?

He sat up all night wondering if there was a Dog.

*Ducks and runs*

Posted by: Stevie on October 16, 2003 05:30 PM

Just wait till your memory starts to go. Then you'll learn that honesty IS the best policy. You never have to remember what you told someone if you told them the truth.

Posted by: Larry on October 17, 2003 11:26 AM

You are approaching this all wrong. You have to defend your right to speak your dialect of American (almost said English, which is entirely different) with vigor and enthusiasm.

As a native of Utah, currently living in Arizona, when I first went into the USAF (a loooong damn time ago), all the other guys in basic training with me were from New York and New Jersey, and they used to call me Tex, because of my western twang, while I could barely understand what any of them were saying at times.

Tex! Damn, don't they know the difference between a Texas accent and a Utah accent? Seemed plain to me, but nuances are beyond some people.

Never occurred to me to want to change.

Black people even invented a name for their particular way of speaking, Ebonics, which always struck me as being a little pretentious.

So, I will continue to 'mosey' my way through life, and if other folks don't like that, screw 'em.

Posted by: Owain on October 17, 2003 03:22 PM

For Stevie: The dyslexic devil-worshipper who wondered if there was a Santa.

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Cool article!!!

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