Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time
Hope you had a lovely Easter/Passover/spring weekend. We spent ours in Hope, Arkansas. That’s where my mama was born and raised. It also happens to be the home of the world’s largest watermelon and the birthplace of one William Jefferson Clinton. But, for my girls and me, it’s simply where we get to visit with aunts and uncles and cousins and other kinfolk, play dominoes and card games (Spoons is a particular favorite), and eat homemade goodies until we’re stuffed. We had the prerequisite large-family-gathering fish fry, complete with outdoor propane cooker. In case you’ve never seen one of those:
I hear some of y’all out there think Southern accents are all alike. I’m here to tell you they really aren’t. You’ve probably heard the distinctive drawl of Georgia (pronounce “online” as “own-line” and you’ll see what I mean) and the Texas twang (so magnificently displayed by Matthew McConaughey). Did you know that my name, when said by a native Arkansan, often sounds like “Brain-dy”? Nahth Caruhlahnuh = “North Carolina” for anyone not from there. And then there’s that Louisiana sound. That mix of French Canada and the Deep South is unlike anything else in the world.
Yes, I’m making generalizations. But if you listen closely to my Southern brethren, you can hear the differences. Just as a Chicagoan doesn’t sound like a New Yorker who doesn’t sound like a Bostonian, all drawls and twangs are not created equal.
My girls and I have slight Texas accents—my Yankee and Canadian friends would disagree with the “slight” part. We’re city folk, and that usually gives you a different sound from folks from the sticks. This weekend in Hope, one of my cousin’s daughters’ boyfriends said to my younger daughter, “You sound like you’re from up north someplace.” To which my (very bright) 10-year-old responded, “Dude, we live farther south than you do.”