Welcome to my world - The world of Tish

Saturday, November 13, 2004

"Your son speaks too Southern"...and other inaccuracies from my Yankee friends

Recently, one of my friends that happens to live north of the Mason-Dixon line had the opportunity to speak with my four year old son. After three sentences and a long silence, he shrugged his shoulders and handed the phone back to me.

"What are you teaching him, Tish? I couldn't understand a word he said." I spent the next few minutes making nice with her, but in the back of my mind I couldn't help but feel offended.

My son can sing like an angel, recite the Pledge of Allegiance with complete accuracy, and count to ten in English and Spanish BUT due to his accent, some one syllable words are stretched into two, or three. I happen to find this endearing. Nothing is more adorable than a little boy that can say "I love you, Momma" and the word love lasts longer than normal.

In fact, I think that's one of the things that drew me to my husband, his deep Southern accent. The sultry elongation of vowels leaves me wanting more. Anyone can 'say' something, but it's the inflection, the exaggerated pauses that sets the Southern man apart from their counterpart, the Yankee.

Don't get me wrong, I like other accents as well. The Australian, South Afrikan and Spanish accents are all very attractive in their own ways but above all reigns the American Southern accent. No nasal tones, no dropping of important consonants, just slow, beautiful enunciation of our native tongue...I think I'll go ask my husband to read something to me. Anything will do at this point.

And for the record, I think my son has the most beautiful voice next to my daughter.


  • My children were born in Las Vegas, Nevada - and having a mother who is big on proper grammar and speech, had no detectable accents. A few years ago, we relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma. My daughter, then eight, asked upon moving day, "Hey, do we get to get one of those cool accents?" *grins*

    My daughter came home extremely upset from Tulsa school one day for having missed one word on her spelling test. Well, naturally, I encouraged her not to be so hard on herself! Missing only one word is still a great result! But when she showed me the test, I could see her reasoning for being upset. The word she missed was "crayon" and she spelled it "crayon". I didn't need to get my dictionary out to know she'd spelled the word correctly. The next day, I took the test to the school where I showed it to the teacher. To the teacher I said, "You've marked her word wrong and I believe she spelled it correctly."

    Would you believe the teacher, in giving the test orally, was trying to say crown? But with the Tulsa accent, it came out as "cray*on". From that point forward, the teacher had to be conscious of the difference in accents because my daughter literally couldn't understand her! In Tulsa, crown and crayon sound like the same word.

    Not long after, we started homeschooling.

    Now, we live in Kentucky, and it's nothing for us to say, "Hey, ya'all, I'm fixin to hang clothes on the line. You reckon you can help me?" *LOL*

    Personally, I just love accents.

    By Blogger Wendi Friend, at 11:09 AM  

  • Tisha, I just had to say I agree so much with you! I just loooove southern accents! I didn't know just how much I loved them until I visited Arkansas a little more than a year ago. I'm from the east coast where all you hear is "Yo, man!" and to hear this sweet southern accent from the people there just melted my heart. I found myself talking like them after just a few days there. And country music! I hated country music until I visited the south and that was all they listened to. Now, it's country all the way! Oh, cool blog you have here!

    By Blogger Dorothy, at 7:51 PM  

  • Dorothy! Facy meeting you here! Small world, isn't it? I saw the name and felt the familiarity bell ringing, but wasn't sure if it was really you - but I clicked on your name and sure enough, there's your photo! *LOL*

    Good to see ya!


    By Blogger Wendi Friend, at 7:01 PM  

  • I'm a Southern Yankee and I find it hard to understand many of those north of the Mason-Dixon line. Depending on where your friend is from, she also may not be understood by Southerners. I guess we need cultural awareness on both sides of the line. I always thought it was the Northerners who couldn't be understood. You've given me something new to consider.

    By Blogger Trease - travel lore crafter, at 9:47 PM  

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