The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I'll take my stand.

For your reading pleasure, here's a damn interesting article on the dulcet Southern dialect, its origins and future. As the author eventually notes, many of the words that were used in our agrarian past are gone, but I recognize a few from my grandparents (I don't use "snapbeans," but contrary to the author's implication a "mosquito hawk" is not a dragonfly, my friend). Of course, none of the article can explain to me why my dialect is generally undetectable, unless I'm talking to someone with a Southern dialect (or am angry). My wife points out that I sound like an extra from the Dukes of Hazzard when I talk to my mom, but as soon as the conversation's over, the honey falls from my tongue.

The author notes that, in places such as Dallas, the fine distinctions in how Southerners pronounce their vowels are fading away under an onslaught of foreigners, both foreign and domestic. Part of me accepts that this is the way of things. Contrary to the beliefs of the Southern Agrarians, there can be no return to our landed past. Urbanization is more than a fact, it is, I believe, a cultural absolute -- we can no more return to our rural, communal past than we can undiscover electricity. Another part of me, however, remains melancholy for what we lost in the trade. Gone are the sense of community, control, and belonging of our past, replaced by convenience, abundance, and action.

As I mature, I find that I miss the safety of the known, the quiet, and the secluded more and more. For this reason, my wife and I have decided to quit living in downtown Dallas and remove ourselves to a near-rural community 25 miles away. While I dread the commute I will have to face, that dread is more than outweighed by the thought that I will have nearly an acre of land and be able to hear crickets at nights and june bugs during the day. I want to have my children, should I ever have any, have the benefit of not being raised in the city. I want to have my weekends feel like I'm a million miles from work.

Who knows, maybe I'll even start talking like I useta could.
Centinel 4:55 PM #


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