Monday, September 17, 2012

Pardon mah Regiolect

As an aspiring writer, I have become uncomfortably aware of my many, many language faux pas. Many. MANY. Many.

While I can pretend to be educated, Klassy and grammatically correct when I am sober and thinking clearly (an unusual combination for me), I often hear myself slipping into that well-worn bathrobe of my down-home speak that I learned back on the farm.

I can't help it. Dropping the 'g' off of anything ending in 'ing' and saying 'gonna' instead of 'going to' just feels natural; sort of like eating bacon, using a Q-Tip to clean my ears, and laughing at people when they fall.

Think about how you really say "I'm going to go driving in the country tomorrow." Most likely (if you are reading this blog) you say "I'm gonna go drivin' in the country tomorrow." You might even replace 'tomorrow' with 'tomorrah', which is fine by me.

I also think that ending sentences in prepositions is underrated. Sometimes being correct has the verbal flow of a Arkansas pig farmer quoting Shakespeare in an Australian accent while speaking Spanish. For instance, if someone walked up to me and asked, "From whence do you hail?" I would most likely contemplate throwing an apple at their head while simultaneously wondering just how far up their bum they shoved that corn cob.

While I do not go so far as to use the shudder-inducing phrase of "I seen them guys the other day...", I do hear myself making multiple grammatical and verbal errors whenever I choose to speak without first thinking freely. Then I usually shrug, stop trying to converse with other adults and go back to making up songs about kittens in the haystack for the benefit of my offspring. ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ Kittens in the haystack, all over the barn! Crying out for milk and searching for some yarn! me-ow me-ow mew mew mew!*♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

*I just made that up right here and now, I've never even used the word 'yarn' in one of my songs. I'm CrAzY today!

Upon having a mini-seizure after hearing myself work the word 'snuck' into a sentence with a stranger, I decided to make a list of words and phrases that I feel should be pardoned from the standard rules of speech and grammar. If nothing else, I will create this list and then site it when I break the rules, thus using it to indemnify myself. Winning!

Johi's The Standardized List of Acceptable Dialect and Text Speak.

* SNUCK:  past tense form of sneak. "I called Red Dog a creepy butthole because she snuck out of the house, stalked my scent and found me a mile away on my dogless, peaceful walk." (apparently 'dogless' isn't a word either- WHATEV)

* GONNA: how normal people talk when they are relaxed or somewhat comatose. "I'm gonna watch Real Housewives now, are you gonna order a pizza?"

*  WHERE ARE YOU FROM? :how to ask someone about their place of origin without sounding like a stuck up arsehat, therefore risking fruit flying at your face or groin area.

* YA: instead of you when talking to people that you aren't trying to impress with your magnanimous wisdom. "Where ya goin'?"

* TA: in speech, instead of to. "I'm goin' ta the store."

* I WAS JUST LIKE: instead of "I said". "I was just like, 'OH MAH GAWD, you can't wear a striped shirt with striped pants!' But he did it anyway and I was all, '...then I'm sorry, but that means that we can't date.'" Listen, we all do it, even if we aren't from The Valley.

*WHATCHA DOIN'? :when speaking to people that you actually like or when you don't want to sound like a bitchy robot. "What. Are. You. DoinG?"

*SORTA: sort of not a word, yet somehow it is for so many, including myself. "I sorta know that I sound stupid when I say 'sorta', but I can't help myself."

*YEP or YEAH: instead of 'yes'. Even my two year old does this, so I know it's okay.

*WANNA: more efficient than 'want to'. And easy to use when inebriated.

*I DUNNO: because I don't know enough to enunciate.

I won't even get into punctuation. I hope you all enjoyed your lesson in acceptable Southeast Iowa dialect. It is my goal to take the stoopid out of the world. Yer welcome.

Peace, Luv and Lazy Linguistics,


  1. Huh. Who knew I originated from Southest Iowa. Ya know, y'all?

  2. I totally assumed snuck was a word. Who knew? And I pretty much only say "I was just like" so clearly we could be friends. ;)

  3. I love this! And 'dogless' is my new favorite word. Watch me turn it into an adverb.

    They forlornly shuffled across the romantic beach, pulling the empty leash doglessly behind them.

  4. That's why God made editors. Some were born to write; others were born to correct those who write.

  5. Awesome. I'm guilty of almost all of the above, and I'm a city girl....

  6. Excellent. In Canada we have rights that protect our use of "eh" at the end of every sentence as well. Ya know, eh?