April 21, 2012
I write better than I talk
Originally published October 16, 2003
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.
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