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Monday, June 11, 2012

‘Ya’ll’ and other speech patterns an integral part of Appalachian culture | Samantha Perry, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Perry, editor of the daily newspaper in Bluefield, West Virginia, provides some useful, friendly advice and information, especially for those of us who live outside the U.S. South:
Some mistake an Appalachian drawl as a beacon of ignorance. They believe the word “y’all” is synonymous with low SAT scores.
How wrong could they be?
Here in the mountains, we don’t run and hide from our speech patterns. We embrace our slang and colloquialisms, knowing the way we speak is a part of our culture. It’s a generational thing, passed down from those before us.
What’s wrong with speaking with a slight drawl, a wisp of a twang or, my favorite, a bright smile that ever-so-slightly alters the enunciation to exude the southern charm indicative of a wide-brim hat with silk flowers and mint juleps served up fresh at the Kentucky Derby?
She also comments on a new TV miniseries about the feuding Hatfields and McCoys. Sounds like it's worth seeing:
In light of our state’s depiction in many other movies and productions — such as the film “Wrong Turn” and the fairly recent Australian news segment — “Hatfields & McCoys” showed a much more honest and accurate representation.
And, it underscored the importance of family, faith and forgiveness. In light of today’s societal problems, that’s not a bad message to get out to 13.8 million viewers.

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