I recently started reading over some of my blogs. I noticed that I had punctuation errors, misspelled words, and run on sentences. I noticed these mistakes, even though I made sure to proof read the material before I clicked on the Publish widget. I am now considering that people may think I am an absolute moron, and in return choose not to read anymore of my blogs. I have to admit, I could not blame someone for such judgement. If I were reading a blog or a book with mistake after mistake then I can only assume, I would be just as any other individual. I may become uninterested in what I am reading. Its possible that I would not be able to take them seriously if they are unable to use words the way they were intended. Fact is, the persons material that I am reading has a life just as important as the next blogger, and maybe even more interesting. So why should it be so important to get each and every world correct? I think our true malfunction is our human nature. We tend to see someone that can not spell, or can not put the right words in a sentence as uneducated, ignorant, unsophisticated, and my favorite, a redneck. Personally I feel we are merely mislabeling people. Is it not also accurate truth that even the most educated person, will make mistakes? We do not all depend on spell check, or whatever other kind of software that helps you put your sentences together. Not everyone comes from an educated back ground, yet people still enjoy writing and sharing their own thoughts and life experiences with people.
Ironically, I have a slight pet peeve when it comes to spelling things correctly. Sadly it is just not a very strong pet peeve. When I reread my words, I surely made a mental note to put that on the top of my list. Do not only proof read, reread…and more than twice.
In this specific area, Northern Alabama, there is that one little tidbit that one might think, separates the graduates from the drop outs. Pronunciation. I am here to tell you, that is just not so. Some highly educated individuals choose to stick to their southern roots, and continue to use the slang words that they were taught when they were younger. As with the drop outs, they try their hardest to sound educated and that comes with making sure each and every i is dotted and t is crossed. All words are in their correct place, and quotations are accurate .I myself am not highly educated, ( surprise, surprise) and do make mistakes, yet I find myself always correcting my children, and giving my husband a look when they say “thang”, instead of thing, or “yeller” instead of yellow. I understand that living in the south, we tend to let our words come out any ole way. Sometimes we use it as a joke, but mostly it is just the way we were taught to speak from our elders.
Even though I am just as guilty as the next person in spelling and saying words completely wrong, I feel speaking correctly is important. And here is why…………………..
When a person enters a place of employment and someone speaks with sixth grade grammar, that person will feel the desire to walk right back out the door and take their business elsewhere. In a professional establishment, it is expected for the person sitting behind the desk to at least sound educated, whether that be the case or not. Our country slang is thought nothing of, as long as we are at a drive through window, or on a farm buying hay. In a bank, attorneys office, and even the people that call us wanting to sell us windows, we want someone who can speak plainly. It is no different than having a phone conversation with a foreigner. We get so uptight because we can not understand them. We want them to speak plainly. We want them to speak English. It is just a fact southerners have a slang, and we use words that make no sense at times. Unfortunately, a majority of us often misuse words, such as their, they’re and there, Or here and hear. I wonder why the people that came up with the English language did not think that far ahead. Was intelligence not a factor then? Were we way smarter at that time, and didn’t have to worry about screwing it up as we do now? Why else would we make so many words sound the same and mean completely different things? One might say us Southerners have pretty much mutilated the English language, not to mention added to it. For example, Ain’t. It did not use to be a word. But by goodness it is now. Ain’t is used more than the word Isn’t or am not, ever was.
Bottom line, between our southern drawl, and our mispronunciation, a lot of people see us as dumb. Add overhauls and bad teeth, and, well…..that is for another blog.
I have found myself being reserved about even saying certain words when I am joking around. I do not want my children to hear me say taters and maters, and think that is the correct pronunciation. I know this is all so unimportant, and does not change who we are as people. We can be the smartest individuals that ever walked the face of the earth, and choose to say bitness and chester drawers, just because we like the way it sounds. But just think, we have children that are following in our footsteps. Their lives will be much easier if we can teach them to speak so that their peers will take them seriously. When someone is taken seriously, it gives them determination to succeed. If they learn to speak appropriately, then they have a much better chance at having a career with potential. I have a child that intends to go to college to be a teacher. I have a feeling it is time to buckle down with my English, so that when she gets to college she will not be caught off guard with someone says, ” what does that mean.?”
By the way, did you know Britches is an actual word? It is some sort of pant item. Like a pair of capri crop pants. I did not learn that until my early thirties. I honestly thought growing up that it was just a term that my parents used for their jeans and slacks. I always cringed as an adult, when hearing that world. Then I found out it was an actual thing…….Regardless, I still do not use it.
Mental Thought: Whether we do it for fun, or just know no better, there will always be a snobbish fixation on pronunciation.
P.S. I am very interested in seeing how many people pay close enough attention to this blog to find my mistakes. 🙂