Appalachian Intellectual. To me that means plain thinking. I am A Non Commissioned Officer in the Army Reserves. Let me say...My views expressed here are mine and not those of The U.S. Army, Army Reserve or my fellow brethren in The National Guard. This is entirely Sua Sponte. This is My Thinking.
I'm single and in my mid 30's. Politicaly, I'm a Libertarian. (Again, Sua Sponte.I do not represent the Libertarian Party.)I love my native Appalachia, Rock n Roll and...I love God.
I started blogging for two reasons. I was concerned about the changes to the area I live in, Southern Appalachia and I was about to go to the war. I was in Iraq in 06 and 07 and now Kuwait in 11 and 12. Blogging was a means of documenting my experiences and hoping it would help gain clarity. I don't feel that way about it any more. It's said people write blogs because they are frustrated, that's why people read them too. That makes us sound apocalyptic. Are we? Let it be said, what I say here is of my own thinking. This is entirely Sua Sponte and not an official representation of the U.S. Military or the U.S. Government as a whole.
You know what turns me off about the Tea Party? Sarah Palin. Yeah, she's a nice lady, but she's got about as much substance as the current regime. Bob Barr and Rep. Ron Paul had more substance and was fundamentally different from the other politicians. They have balls. The real difference between Obama and McCain was health care. Forget the war. Foreign policy? LOL. Health care Reform? If you want to call it reform. (Did you get to read it before it was voted on late at night on weekends) And the Tea Party people quoting the Founding Fathers can only come up with Sarah Palin to headline events?
Diversity is more subtle than you think. As a word it gets allot of lip service and little true appreciation. Division and diversity start out the same. Where ever you go and who ever you see and talk to are different and there ain't nothing wrong with that. It's a good thing, it makes us unique.
What provokes that statement is the language I grew up with. The way people speak around here...And sadly the word spoke could be used...Is a part of the broader southern accent. Yet, it's distinct. I say this for entertainment purposes only...Or do I? No. Leave the way I talk alone. As long as you understand someone, what is the problem?
I really grew up with two forms of the Southern accent. One, Southern Appalachian and the other the way people talk in the Piedmont of South Carolina. I think that is a reason I use "you'll" a little more than "Yuns". I remember using "yuns" as a kid in SC and getting puzzled looks from other kids. They thought it was funny. If I had said it in Northern Pickens, Upper Oconee or Northern Greenville Counties, it may not have been so odd as it did in Anderson County further into the Piedmont. Those other places are in the Mountains, the foot of the Blue Ridge, SC's back door. The same as anything beyond Burke County is to NC.*
The Cherokee were not exempt from this. The Lower Towns, in what is now Pickens and Oconee County SC and Stevens County GA used a rolling "R". While across the Blue Ridge they used an L in it's place. Hence Cherokee from Tsarigi, Tsaligi in the Middle, Valley and Overhill Dialects. From what I know, none of the Lower dialect exists other than in documentation.
As it turns now, someone on the head of Savana River uses their Rs while someone further down it in SC tends to drop theirs.
Some people try to make the language here sound romantic. It's likened to Shakespeare's English, and, maybe some. They claim Appalachian English is more in line with Old English. Yet, most of the people here in Southern Appalachia descend from the Scots of Ulster. Make the connection. Sometimes you don't know how you got what you have, other than you have it. And, once you have it, it's yours.
While searching information on a man that lived in Swain County, "Uncle" Mark Cathey**, I came across the web site, Southern Appalachian English. It has recordings of Men and Women that lived around the Smokeys***. One being Mark Cathey, which you would think immigrated from Ireland. He was born and bred in Swain County. No one I've ever known from over there talks with such an accent.
One word I'd never heard used out of these Mountains is the word "Haint". Haint is a ghost term. The way I had heard it used always made me think of it as a hostile ghost. "Got chased out by a haint". One book I have, Dish Pan Pie and Snow Bird Gravy, documents a man named Hicks from Watauga County that said a ghost is heard, but a haint is seen.
Now the people of North Alabama speak some of the same way as they do here. But further down, not so much. I watched a video made in Tuscaloosa the other day and it caught me when I heard the word haint used. The Urban Dictionary puts it as a Southern Term. I'd not heard it used anywhere but here, and never heard it used to describe a contrary woman.
Here is the video, a Rock Band goes to an abandoned Mental Institution and plays (some good!)Gospel Music. During this time they get caught for Trespassing but the cops are lenient. When the tape is edited it's found it caught a few things. You will hear different accents from the same general area in this video.
Ladies, Fellars, Heathens and Saints, The Dexateens and "Old Bryce"...
Wheew...That was fun!
Back to Southern Appalachia...So, we talk the way we talk and you talk the way you talk. Dialects and (most) accents are beautiful. There is no need in coercing someone into speaking a bland form of English. Now that I made you wonder why you say the things you say, don't worry about it. I'm not going to be ashamed of the way I talk. And, if you take issue with it, you don't know nothing.
* The Mountains run north east, but I use Burke as a central point. ** I recently read a book that talked about Mark Cathey and I was curious of what Rifle he used, which I determined was a Winchester Model 1910. ***Flat Land Tourist like to refer to any of these Mountains as the "Smokeys", while we of the Western counties of North Carolina refer to the Smokeys as the actual range.
In a word consumed by "isms", there is Appalachiaism... The Appalachianist
PS: It took me days to put this together. Like writing a book.
After the Battle of Copwens, fought by Daniel Morgan in January 1781, Nathaniel Greene's Army made their way north to Virginia before Cornwallis could catch them. Greene recollected his force and went back into North Carolina. On March 15th 1781 the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was fought. Cornwallis claimed it a British Victory, though costly. Meanwhile Nathaniel Greene and his men marched on..."We fight, get beaten and fight again"