Monday, April 14, 2008

The Heritage of Language

Contrary to what some online quizzes tell me, I know for fact that I have a Southern accent. I mean, come on, I grew up in the Black Belt of south Alabama!! We are talking Deep South here. They still have outhouses down near Thomasville where I spent the majority of my formative years (we had indoor plumbing, thankfully!).

My accent used to be worse than it is now. I remember using words like "confound it" and "doggone it". Once I went to college and became a bit more civilized (ha!), I dropped a lot of those southern words from my vocabulary. I even lost some of my twangy accent. However, I still talk with people from my hometown and they still sound the same! :) I love it!

OK, so case in point: in January, my husband, kids and I went to Lake Lure, NC on vacation. As we were leaving a good, down-home cooking kind of place, my husband SWEARS that I said "Goodness Be!" My response was "WHAT?!?!?!?" I Do Not use that kind of terminology, I have Never in my Life used that term. I say Goodness Gracious or Good Grief quite frequently. But Goodness Be?? Noooo.

My husband said that he has heard me say it before and he always inwardly smirks at my southern-ness. I vehemently disagreed. He said that the next time he heard me say it, he would point it out to me.

A few weeks later, we were visiting with my sister and family, so I asked her if she had ever heard me say Goodness Be. I mean, after all, she DID grow up with me and should know most everything southern that comes out of my mouth!! She agreed with me; no, I do not say Goodness Be. *whew*

Sooooo, about a month ago my hubby and I were at my parents house, sitting on the couch looking at the newspaper or something (I can't remember now to be honest), and my Mom asked me a question (I don't remember the question now, either). I immediately, without thinking first, said "Goodness Be, No!" Jamie's head flew around so suddenly to look at me and my mouth flew open because we both realized that I HAD SAID IT! Jamie started laughing hysterically because he had "won" that disagreement. All I could say was "awwww man."

Well, today I was walking down the stairs with Gannon and out of the blue he says, "Goodness be!" I started laughing and asked him if that's what he had really said. He said it again in confirmation. How cute and funny that he has now got that phrase in his wide array of possible choices for exclamations! I hesitate to tell Jamie about it, though... my son is now a true every sense of the word!


Hillary Dunham said...

I love it!
Jason says my accent gets worse the further south on I-65 we get headed towards my parent's house. He SAYS that I say things like "I wunder whut momma's got cookin fer supper?" when in all actuality I KNOW that's not true, right?
My mom doesn't even cook...

Jenny said...

Ha! Yes, Jamie says similar things about me. Especially if I've been talking to my friends from down home, I talk really southern for the next day or so...or week.. whatever. It rubs off, unlike the red dirt from down there!

Steph said...

I have to admit that 10 years in Yankee territory did a pretty good job of erasing all the "Southern" from my speech (accent and otherwise!). My y'all's have become you guys... no more "fixin' to" do something. But I still refer to some folks as "ornery" and I love my grits.... so there's still some trace of Southern left!