Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Say What?

I've had a couple of emails about Southern Speaking, and I have to take this moment and point out that how you pronounce a word is not as important as how you use it. As an example, I've had many people tell me that 'Etlanna' (pronounced 'et-LAN-uh') is Southern for the capital of the State of Georgia.  This is not so much an idiom as a way of speaking.  An idiom is a word or group of words that mean more than the individual words may indicate.  (Brother Bubba the Retired English Teacher is gonna enjoy that!) 

So, with the above in mind, "Ahm gohn to Etlanna, thet citeh down in Jowja." is just a Southern way of speaking. It's that famous Southern accent everyone knows about.  (For those who need a translation: 'I am going to Atlanta, that city down in Georgia."

So, what about word usage? Southerners don't just pronounce words different, they also use words a might differently than the rest of the world.  This week, I'd like to introduce you to 'Airish' which, to be sure, is not the mention of people from the country known as Ireland.  Airish ('AIR-ish') speaks to the air about you, as in too drafty or cool.  "Pa said to shut dem winduhs, Bubba, it's a might airish in hee-ah." (Again, the translation: "Father has asked that we close the windows as it is getting rather drafty and cold in here.")

My office gets a might airish, but that's due to the air conditioner being left set on Arctic Freeze even when the rain is soaking the streets or snow is covering the sidewalks.  That's when I have to put on a heavy sweater and gloves just to work or maybe I'm not using the word right.  

Living and working in the south is nothing if not adventurous. 

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