Saturday, October 4, 2008

All In How You Hear It

Leaving a job that I mostly loved--especially the students--it is not particularly likely that I will again teach English to the same caliber of students that I have seen for the past twelve years. Even so, I realized that my language ranks right up there with the Southern best when I found a link to Dr. Beard's Southern English. A Glossary of Southern Accents - alphaDictionary * Free English Online Dictionary

Oh my word! For years now I have loved Texas expressions that have caused me to "bust a gut" laughing, but some of these Southern words are just adorable. Mother-in-law was born in Texas and used many of these expressions that I had never heard when growing up. My mother was the direct descendant of a minister-teacher of the old school who used "shall" and "will" in their appropriate contexts. MIL, on the other hand, was of the school who claimed that their wealth was known by their "cattle in the bank and money out West." It is a good thing that she is unaware of what is happening out West today. She can still watch the Animal Planet without becoming aware of the economic and political turmoil intruding on the collective consciousness of the rest of the nation.

Dr. Beard made the an interesting statement:

"Your accent has nothing at all to do with intelligence or knowledge of the rules of grammar. It is simply a regional dialect and dialects are equally grammatical; they are simply slight variations in the grammar of a given language that characterize the various regions where that language is spoken. All dialects have rules every bit as rigorous as those of the standard dialect, which is usually determined by the most influential social class."

Occasionally I make a spelling error or an agreement error--even throw in a fragment or two. But I know the difference and would not TEACH others to use fragments as if a fragment were acceptable in a letter or report. However, a blog is a critter of an entirely different species--or genus. Somewhat like Southern English, a blog can have initials like MIL to denote people in the family or initials like ROFL to indicate a level of amusement. Most of the time--with a few exceptions when I find my high horse needs a good gallop--this blog will concern what I find amusing in life. I suspect that my high horse is kicking his heels at the NCLB project right now, but my sudden freedom from a stressful situation requires some time off to enjoy walking the dog at the moment.

Until next time: Cheers!

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