OK, y’all are too funny (see how thoroughly acclimated I am now – I can say y’all (which can also be spelled ya’ ll) just like a native Texan. 😀
Reading the comments on yesterday’s post, One Year of Sharing, was kind of like going to my own funeral, where everyone says only the nice things. 😀
It was great and I’m not even dead yet! Thank you! It looks like it’s going to take me a month just to recap the year. This is just a little side post addressing the difficulties some Yankees find when first settling in the South.
While I’m pretty good with y’all, I”m still struggling to communicate. It’s gotten better than it was back in Tilden when I made Willie, who looked exactly like Danny Glover about 25 years ago, spell all (oil) and I asked the Toe (Tool) Pusher to spell truffles (Trend Files).
Then there were entire paragraphs that I missed:
I disremembered zactly cept all that tawk near made yuar heya turn. Y ‘all might could jus say that ah dent felt lack fahtn, sewed ahd get outta thar lacka kay-yut with wangs.
In Yankee speak that would be: I can’t remember exactly, except that all that talk could almost make your hair turn white. The hair turning white was explained to me later. You could say that I didn’t feel like fighting so I got out of there like a cat with wings!
It’s really much more interesting to hear them tell it!
To complicate things, only half of our guys were from Texas. The other half were from Louisiana – which is an entirely different world of phonetic interpretations!
The easy part of Texas talk was the universal dropping of the g. I had no problems with walkin and talkin and riggin and swiggin. At first I thought the g was dropped as a type of conversational economy to get straight to the point. Nope. For starters, there wasn’t always a point, and secondly, little words are made bee-yug (big). Many one syllable words are turned into two: rig is ree-yug, cat (as in the sentence above) is kay-yut and I swear I’m the only person in Texas who talks fast.
There are words that are reversed like fill and feel. You fill good. You feel the truck with gas.
Our Texans seem to especially not like the letter i no matter what word it was in:
Ahma tell him that it were rangin (ringing) and the welder is brangin (bringing) toes (tools) ta get at er. Hesa fixin ta bah (buy) thangs (things) in town but nahn tahms (nine times) outa tan (ten), it’ll tay-yak em fowar (four) shots.
Just to be clear, these are smart guys. It isn’t that they couldn’t speak well, it’s just that I just didn’t know what they were saying. When I used to have to ask the guys to spell everything, not only did they think I was nuts, but it didn’t really help since I couldn’t understand their spelling much better than their talking. I finally just gave up and guessed. I was wrong a lot! You do develop an ear for it after a while. It helps a lot if there isn’t too much Copenhagen.
The communication problems cut both ways. They can’t understand me either. Take last night, for example. One of the guys asked me where the truck went (not where I went, but where the truck went) and I said:
Oh, I just went to Cuerro to get drugs. Really Debbie, did you just say that?
I need to learn to leave out the personal details, but if I really had to share, I could have said that I went to Walmart to pick up a prescription. And I think they talk funny…
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. ~ Mark Twain
Looks like it’s time to move this retelling of tales from Shiner to Smiley. Don’t you just love all the happy names they give these little towns? It was in Smiley that our real adventures began. More on that soon!