Thursday, February 12, 2009

Translation please

A favorite thing for me about moving across the country every other year is learning the language. The Midwest is endearing because they don't know they have aaaaacents. My co-workers in Cleveland taught me all about tree-lawns. Faaascinating.

The South is different though. They know they have accents, and I believe they turn them off and on at will. I haven't gotten to know a lot of southerners since I stay home and a lot of my friends happen to be native westerners. We meet some people every once in a while whose accents we really enjoy, like the repairmen at our apartment complex who talks like Forrest Gump. A man at church once played "Pee Paw" instead of "Peek-a-boo" with our boys. Funny.

But sometimes words have really different meanings. Once my college roommate from New Jersey called a guy skanky. I immediately explained what it meant out west and she assured me it wasn't what she was trying to say.

Last night we learned another term for "Binky" (I know, it's a funny word for pacifier) that was so shocking I can't even repeat it on my blog because I want it to stay PG in western terms. All I can say is I learned the word in high school when Limp Bizcuit came out with a song that repeated it over and over. I'm not a Limp Bizcuit fan, seriously I don't think I even spelled that right, but I did go to high school. It was impossible not to hear that stupid song.

But it made me wonder how appropriate my speech is here in the south. Could I be offending everyone without realizing it. I like to think my accent is neutral, but lots of people have told me they like my accent. Huh? What are they hearing. Yikes!


rob, jax & max: the harmon squad said...

Have you had your hat called a toboggan yet? That one really threw me. And I love how shopping carts are buggies.

Natalie said...

There is always a debate about if David has an accent or not. I think yes, even though he was raised up north, he has adopted a NC accent.