“To thine own self be true.”
Oh, I have a few quotes I prefer a little more than that one, but then I’d be writing a whole different blog.
Hi. You may not know me very well. Even if you read every blog I’ve posted. Mostly you can pick out I tend to be angsty, frustrated, cranky and sometimes just plain mean. Sometimes I’m funny and light-hearted. Other times I’m depressed and possibly boring. I frequently spell words wrong and for some reason the blasted spell checker doesn’t correct it. I’m forever procrastinating. You probably know I’m married, I can’t resist strawberry cheesecake, and I love the Old West. You might even know I’m from southwest Missouri where I’ve lived my whole life except five years. Bonus points if you can tell me where those five years were.
Oh, and I love movies. I make a movie or TV reference in nearly every blog. I’m fixing to do it again. This last week husband and I have been watching Lonesome Dove: The Series. For the record, the only two movies based Larry McMurty’s novels I can stand are Comanche Moon and Dead Man’s Walk. Something about Woodrow Call rubs me the wrong way. Give me a Sackett any day. But we’ve been watching season 1, which is based on Call’s son and we’re both highly amused by Clay Mosby’s southern drawl. Husband does an excellent immitation. He was raised farther south than I and he has a natural twang that probably leaves people with the impression that he’s very undereducated.
Sometimes I use big words. Words that I guess might be a little advanced for a simple conversation and I occassionally end up playing dictionary when he goes “huh?”. Sometimes I’ll say a word and he’ll make fun of me. Or he’ll say something and I make fun of him. For example: he says, “That’s weird.” Only it comes out like “Thet’s wurd.” So I mimick him and then he pretends to get offended by the mimicking. He denies that he said weird wrong. Just to annoy him, one of my favorite words to say is “matel”. As in, the car is made of out sheet matel. In many regions of the US, people would look at me like I’d lost my mind. But my dad called it matel and so do I. Other favorites include: arn (iron), far (fire), sack (bag), warmed (as in de-wormed the dog), thank (think), fangers (fingers), won (one) and aigs (eggs). How about Shivvy (Chevy as in Chevrolet. Just for fun: “Id’n that a Shivvy?” “Isn’t that a Chevy?”)?
Growing up, people often commented on my heavy accent. I usually drop the ‘g’ off of words that end with ‘ing’. And mangle something so it ends up as ‘sumpthin’. When I say “li’bary”, that also seems to annoy husband. He always tells me to look at the way it’s spelled and say it right. Same thing with Feb-awary. We watched a home video not too long ago made when I was about seven or eight. My folks used to cam cord (camera record) everything after they bought that thing. I was supposed to be in my room studying words for a vocabulary test. Instead I was leaning out the door of my room watching mom film. She said something about shouldn’t I be learning the words. Very smartly, I smiled at the camera and said, “Ah know whut wellnuss iz.” For real.
But as I grew up, I started noticing the way other people talked. And it wasn’t the same way my parents did or I did. It was a little thing (my husband would call Yankee-fied) called Standard American English. Other kids made fun of me for my drawl, so I stopped doing it as much. Watching that video made me laugh, because I didn’t remember sounding like that. It was bona fide hill billy.
If you ever get the chance, read Shepherd of the Hills. Until I was in high school I was convinced shepherd was spelled shepard because of the way I pronounce it. Anyway, many of the characters in that book talk with the southern or hill folk accents. And Mr. Wright was more than happy to spell the words the way the folks spoke. I don’t think I could ever write the way I talk. I feel guilty when I write an ‘ing’ word with the ‘g’ off of it. Hill billy’s pract’cly a ferrin (foreign) language.
Once I was watching Hamlet on HBO or something. My dad came into the livingroom to put wood in the stove. The actors of TV were going on and on about something. He looked at the TV, he looked at me and he said, “How do you know what they’re saying?” I shrugged. “I don’t know. I read it and mostly I just watch what they’re doing. They’re talking about…” And then I explained whatever it was. He just frowned. “I don’t know why they can’t speak plain English.” Well, back then it probably was plain to them. And considering the setting is Denmark, it could’ve been in Danish.