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The Big Picture

That Southern Drawl

I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, but I've been out of the south for almost seven years.  And even though all but Silas were born in the south, my younger ones tease me relentlessly about my southern drawl.

"I am going to drive y'all home today," I stated on the way to school last school year.  The statement was innocent, harmless.  That's when the attack came, unprovoked.  "Dri-ive yawl.  What is dri-ive yawl?"  asked Cory, my then nine-year-old.
I spoke more slowly--easy for a southerner, but he still didn't understand. 
I broke it down for him.  "I am going to drive you all. Y'all means you all, as in all of you.  I am going to drive all of you home from school today."  He got it.
"Mom, why don't you pass that car in front of us?" 13-year -old Mary asked me just a few months ago as we poked along the winding road.
"There's a double yellow line," I said.
Again, an unprovoked attack came from the back seat as cackles filled the car.  "A dubble yella li-ine!  What is a dubble yella li-ine?"  
And just this morning, six-year-old Dorothy mimicked the way I turn one syllable words into two syllable words. I explained to her that, for a southerner, there are no one syllable words. We really can't help it.
"Maybe one day you'll talk normal," she said.
"Some day we might move back to the south, and y'all will be the ones who talk funny,"  I sometimes warn my children.
Unlike a southerner, they never hear past the "y'all".
Dorothy--a future southern belle? (picture by

10 Comments to That Southern Drawl:

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mary sims on Monday, February 21, 2011 1:07 PM
hahaha dont worry mom, i really do love your accent and your 2 syllalbe words =)
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Margie on Monday, February 21, 2011 1:28 PM
Why-y thankya' Mary!

Kelly Palmer on Monday, February 21, 2011 1:53 PM
Hi Margie, I saw this post on Robert's facebook page. Not sure if you remember me from EAC. In any case, I found this blog hilarious -even if I only lived in the South for a year! Now that I know your website I will try to keep reading!
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Margie on Monday, February 21, 2011 2:36 PM
Kelly! Of course I remember you. Glad you got in touch. Only those who have experienced the culture can truly understand!
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Debbie Riley on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 4:25 AM
I love your Southern drawl Baby! And no, it isn't going away - you have had it too long!
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Kelly Palmer on Sunday, February 27, 2011 11:40 AM
Yes Ma'am ;-)
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Kelly Palmer on Sunday, February 27, 2011 11:40 AM
Yes Ma'am ;-)
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Margie on Sunday, February 27, 2011 11:54 AM
My kids almost get in trouble at school when they say ma'am! (But I still want them to say it! No 'yeps' around here!)
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Anna on Sunday, February 27, 2011 9:02 PM
Ha ha this one's funny Margie. I always teased Natalie when she would say "No-ah," instead of "No" by saying "Noah built the ark!"
Reply to comment
margie on Monday, February 28, 2011 9:39 AM
Like I said, "No" is a two syllable word! Bethany got teased when we moved to VT!

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