Friday, February 29, 2008

Regional stereotyping

A contributor has passed on one of those regional stereotype emails he'd just gotten from a colleague. It's about the South, with the predictable heavy focus on language. A couple of samples:
  • Southern women know their cities dripping with Southern charm:
    • Chawl'stn
    • S'vanah
    • Foat Wuth
    • N'awlins
    • Addlanna
  • A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.
  • In the South, y'all is singular, all y'all is plural.
As the person who passed it along said:
Calling fixin' an adverb is just people not understanding lexical categories, I imagine, and I know fixins as a noun, but not usually a fixin'. A shame they missed what's distinct about the southern verb. And singular y'all exists, but isn't common. I don't think of it as common in r-less regions and this person is putting on the r-less airs in a big way.
The thing closes with useful advice, at any rate:
  • And to those of you [note continuity error: should be all y'all] who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language!
  • And for those who are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all y'all need a sign to hang on y'alls front porch that reads "I ain't from the South , but I got here as fast as I could."
By the way, that's Florence, Kentucky, not any of the ones in South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, leaving aside the ones that aren't clearly outside of y'all territory.


pc said...

Ha. Yer pic reminds me of a John Prine song...
By a fountain back in Rome I fell in love with you
In a small cafe in Athens You said you loved me too
And it was April in Paris when I first held you close to me
Rome, Georgia, Athens, Texas And Paris, Tennessee

Cassaday Rasmussen said...


Mr. Verb said...

Yeah, that's a great song, PC -- like about a zillion of his. And Cassaday, I'll pass the wishes on to the relevant contributor!