The things we say! Have you ever noticed how a Southerner from one region says something unlike people from another region of the South? My maternal grandmother used to say she would “putt” something away, or she “tuck” someone to church, for example. This “putt and tuck” way I noticed early in my childhood. My family was living in Georgia at the time, and “we” didn’t say “putt and tuck”. I loved hearing my Grandmother say those words, ‘cause it was different. After my parents moved us to Mississippi and my oldest brother went to college, he had a friend that hung out at the house a lot. One day he said one of those words, y’all! Guess what? He was from the same area as my grandparents, which was middle Tennessee. Whenever I hear anyone say “putt and tuck”, I feel right at home with them!
Do you have a special way you talk for business purposes? I think we Southerners try to clean up our “drawls and y’alls” when exposed to people from other areas of the country because we’ve been ridiculed for being dumb when we talk Southern. I’ve never noticed a New Yorker trying to clean up his or her accent. Why is that? And, as much as we try to clean up ours, we still have something shine through, in spite of our efforts.
Years ago, I was in a job situation where I dealt with people from all areas of the country, so I tried very hard to put on my non-regional business accent. But someone caught me saying “fixin’” one day, so from then on, at least to this man, I was the “fixin’ girl”. Did I even know I’d said it? Not at all. I was completely taken by surprise when he pointed out my “error” of this Southern word and was embarrassed by it. I’m not embarrassed or shamed by things like that any more. And we shouldn’t be. ‘Cause it’s part of who we are, y’all!
Have you ever noticed people from somewhere around South Carolina/Northeast Georgia saying “Mawtha” and “Fawtha” for “Martha” and “Father”, for example? Sometimes I wish I were “from” there, y’all, ‘cause their Southern accent sounds refined, pretty, and even smart! It’s not redneck at all and just reminds me of a Southern Gentleman. When I encounter someone with this accent, I just want to sit and hear them talk all day long. You know, find a porch somewhere and have them tell you all about their life, just to hear the way they say it.
I appreciate and enjoy these differences in people. Well, I do with Southerners, anyway. Do you?