by Elizabeth T. Andrews
American Reporter Correspondent
November 12, 2006
AIN'T GOT NO ELOCUTION
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I have learned the error of my ways. I was wrong. I am reformed, born again, forever humbled.
Having recently been verbally beaten up over daring to state there is a link between intelligence and the way we speak, I now repent of such a flawed suggestion. I now realize it's quite all right for the President of the United States and our First Lady to speak a mangled form of the English language, and I have complete faith that "dudn't", "wadn't" and "E-rock" (Iraq) will soon become valuable additions to our children's school books, our dictionaries, and adopted by the masses as "good grammar."
After all, if the President and his First Lady use such language, it must be politically, socially and grammatically correct.
And the grand part of my having seen the language light is that now, at long last, I can insist on society's and the government's recognition of my native tongue, Ozark Mountain English.
So that you may get a head start on learning to speak Ozarkian, I give you the following:
Wadn't it. Oh. Sorry. I guess you already know that one since it is a part of the daily speech of George and Laura. Just in case you're not familiar with it, it means "wasn't" ... as in "Wadn't that a plum pitiful election?" Sometimes spelled "wudn't ".
Dudn't it. Texas may have stolen this jewel from the Ozark Mountains, but I guess it dudn't make any difference where it comes from as long as you pernounce it correctly. It's a kissin' cousin of "doesn't."
Hadn't. Means "had not." As in "You hadn't ought to say "wadn't" and "dudn't" on national television."
Plum back in the woods. Yes, I know. You already know that means "a fer piece." As in "Some folks was born plum back in the woods of Texas so fer they don't know it's a fer piece to town."
Ain't got no. Don't have none.
Winder. What you put a screen over to keep the flies out.
Widder. As in "widder woman" ... what a woman is after her mister gets shot by revenooers fer making moonshine.
Store-bought. Mama didn't make your underwear this year. They wuz "store-bought."
Ho-made. Mama made it from scratch. As in "ho-made apple pie."
Spec-tackles. Eyeglasses. Not to be confused with people who make "speck-tackles" of themselves by saying "E-rock" for Iraq at big international ta-dos like Laura Bush did.
Do-did-up. The fancy duds you wear to big ta-dos like national conventions where you get to say "dudn't" and "wadn't" and everybody thinks you're just being cute. Sometimes used as "gussied" She was all gussied up in her fancy duds.
Gobbler. A male turkey that makes loud, obnoxious, squawking noises. Not to be confused with politicians at election time.
Booger. Used to keep mountain children in line. As in "The booger man will get you if you don't stop telling them lies." It can also be used to describe what's extracted from the nostrils by fervent pickin'.
Slap-dab. Right smack in the middle of.
Snipes. What rural boys talk city boys into going huntin' fer deep in the woods on a dark night. They take the city slicker to the middle of the woods, give him a "toe-sack" to hold open, and tell him they are going to go running in search of snipes which will coming charging toward him and jump into his sack. Some folks think there ain't no such thing as snipes, but there is. The pitiful part, though, is some city slicker folks are still looking for them poor little lost boys.
Cob. What's left after you eat the corn.
Hicker nut. Grows on hicker trees.
El-um. A tree city folks mistakenly call "elm."
Shy-poke. A tall skinny mountain boy or girl - also called "a long drink of water."
Poke. A brown paper bag used to poke stuff in.
Toe-sack. A "feed sack" (gunny) of great value especially in snipe hunting.
Gap. The space between two objects. As in "Johnny has a gap 'tween his two front teeth" or "Tucker's Gap," where ol' man Tucker lives between two mountains.
Tolerable. Fair to middlin', as in "How ya doin'?" "Oh, tolerable, I reckon." Not to be confused with "poorly" which is real bad.
Messin' and a gommin'. As in "If them boys in Washington keep messin' and a gommin' with our Constitution, purty soon ya won't be able to tell it from toilet paper."
Ner nothing. Means "nor anything" as in "English, ner nothing else, is important just so long as you git elected to the White House where you get to go all gussied up to them big doings."
I'm glad I've seen the language light. I now have just as much right to insist my native language become part of our mainstream American version of English as do those uninvited wanna-be Americans who demand we all learn to speak Spanish because it's their native tongue, or those who think "Whatcha doin', bro" and "Say what, my man?" are golden passwords to being accepted in the kindergarten on Going Nowhere Street.
After all, what's good for the golden goose in Washington, must be good for us ducks in the pond of Ain't-got-no-need-to-learn-no-English-ner-nothing."
Elizabeth T. Andrews is a newspaper writes poetry. Reach her at email@example.com or P.O. Box 816, Cartersville, GA 30120.