Thursday, November 06, 2008

Speak like a Texan

And stop makin' fun'a me

  1. If a word has -ing tacked onto the end of it, that last 'g' is always silent. "Fixin' to", "Doin' that", "Goin' there" and similar phrases are not only acceptable, but correct.
    1. Even if you make a conscious effort to avoid this (why?) never say "fixing to". We say "fixin' to". That's just the way it is.
    2. "Fixin' to" is used instead of the phrase "about to". It rolls off the tongue much easier. Here rule 1a becomes very important. It is imperative that "fixin' to" be pronounced correctly (no 'g'), because it is to be be used with great frequency.
  2. "Y'all" is a must. Phrases such as "you guys" or "you all" only increase the amount of syllables in the sentence.
    1. If you are going to write or type "y'all" either put the apostrophe in the correct place (after the y) or just leave it out. If you put the apostrophe in the wrong place, it doesn't make any sense, and you have done an injustice to a great word.
    2. "Y'all" can be used to speak of one person as well as many, making the word alone both singular and plural. If the fact that it can be singular bothers you, you may want to skip ahead a little and read rule 15. "All y'all" is another plural form and it is made possessive, of course, by adding the "'s" to "y'all".
  3. "Ain't" is a word, and a perfectly usable word at that. It should, however, be used in moderation. "Isn't" is an entirely acceptable word, and can be shortened with pronunciations similar to "i'n".
  4. If a sentence can be shortened by dropping a few letters or syllables along the way, by all means do it. As long as fellow Texan speakers are able to understand what you meant, your omission was acceptable.
    1. A sentence can also be shortened by eliminating spaces and other various pauses. Run all the words together, it's faster, and if you're good at it then anyone can understand what you're saying.
  5. "A while ago" = "awollago"
    "Used to be able to..." = "Usta could..."
    "Have to" = "hafta"
    "some of that" = "sum'at"
    "alright" = "a'right" or "aight"
    "I was" = "I's"
    "Who would have thought?" = "Who'da thought?" or (by choice) "Whodathunkit?"
    "Probably" = "Prolly"
    "Don't know" = "Dunno"
  6. There is no need to rush. What you have to say is important and it is best when those around you understand you without question.
  7. Use as many contractions as humanly possible, even if you have to make some of them up.
    1. This includes adding contractions onto existing contractions. Example: Y'all will = Y'all'll
  8. In Texan speak, "of" is not said as its own word, but instead as an 'a' sound tacked onto the end of the previous word. Examples include "kinda" and "sorta".
  9. There are certain words that, even though they are short, take on different pronunciations:
  10. "to" = "ta"
    "doesn't" = "dunn't"
    "for" = "fer"
    "get" = "git"
    "your" or "you're" = "yer"
    "can't" = "cain't"
    "hundred" = "hunnerd"
    1. An interesting one that falls under this rule is the word "well". There are many forms of this word, and almost all of them take on the proper pronunciation. However, when used as an interjection at the beginning of a sentence, the word takes on the pronunciation "wool". This appears to be the only time that happens. You never hear someone say, "I'm doing wool", or "I'm going to the wool to draw some water". Also, this pronunciation leads to the word blending in with the word following it. Example: "Well, I didn't know..." becomes "Wooleye didn't know..."
  11. If the word "are" is present in a sentence, unless it is the first word, you have an automatic contraction. Examples: "there're", "how're", "what're", "you're", etc. Another word this applies to: one or ones - "another'n", "this'n", "that'n".
  12. When the phrase "did you" is in a sentence, it is very rare that both words get fully pronounced. There are various ways to say this (also works with "did y'all"):
    • The whole phrase gets knocked down to a simple 'j' sound. Example: "Did you eat?" becomes "Jeet?"
    • "You" is said preceded by either a 'd' or 'j' sound. Example: "D'you eat?", "J'you eat?"
    • A little of each word is said with "dijya". Example: "Dijya eat?"
    1. The negative form of this phrase, "didn't you", undergoes a similar change when said, turning in to "din'cha", as in "Din'cha see that?"
  13. There are literally thousands of obscure phrases that Texans use to get their point across. These phrases generally involve something that is stereotypically Texan, and, because of the large amount, can be used in any situation that the speaker sees fit.
    1. It should be noted that one does not necessarily have to use these phrases to speak Texan, but you sure as heck better have the sense to figure out what most of them mean. Otherwise, when someone says something like "This ain't my first rodeo" or "It's so dry the trees are bribin' the dogs", you are going to be "confused as a cow on astroturf".
  14. "Good" is a perfectly acceptable reply to the question "How are you doing?" They say that the appropriate response would be "well" instead of "good", but come on...
  15. If something is of significant size, it is "a big ol'" or "a big honkin'" [insert object here]. If there is a really, really large amount of something, there is "aheckuvalotta" that something.
  16. In general, subtle grammar errors are fine. There are so many stupid little rules that only aggravate, so there are a few of them that we can just ignore. Example: How many of us (whose major/job does not have to do with communications) actually use the word "whom" in conversation?
    1. Please notice that the word SUBTLE was used in describing mistakes that are acceptable. If you walk up to someone and say something like "How is you?" you are just a fool who loses at life.
  17. If the word "what", or "what's", is at the beginning of a sentence, it is often said as merely a soft 't' sound, usually as part of the next word. For example: "T're ya doin'?" = "What are you doing?", "T'sup?" = "What's up?", & "T's the plan?" = "What's the plan?"
    1. This also applies to the word "it", or "it's".
    2. "What are you doin'" can also be, and often is, said "'Tch ya doin'". This is the case many times when "what" precedes "you" or "y'all", with the word "what" and the "y" in the following word becoming one sound.
    3. If the word 'I' is at the beginning of a sentence, it is not necessary to actually annunciate it. The 'I' is implied and the intended meaning is conveyed whether or not it's actually said. Example: "I wonder what that was..." becomes "Wonder what that was..."
  18. If you live in Texas you know that our fine neighbors to the south (that's Mexico, for those whose geography needs work) have had great influence on our state and our culture. TexMex is one of God's many gifts to us. However, one other major influence is the use of various Spanish words in our language and also in naming many of our cities and counties. Because a great number of us do not speak Spanish, many of these words/names get pronounced as they are spelled with English, not Spanish, pronunciation. For example, San Jacinto is pronounced exactly how it appears, instead of the Spanish pronunciation, which is (roughly) San Haceento. By no means is this correct, but seeing as this is Texan speak, it is entirely acceptable.
  19. Credit this one to the comedic genius of Mr. Bill Engvall: In Texas, the phrase "I'll tell you what..." is a complete sentence. It's difficult to explain, but we can say this and it conveys meaning without the last half of the statement. For some reason, it's just not needed. It should be noted that it is usually said in response to something. It usually doesn't work if you just say it at random.
  20. The word 'coke' is used to refer to any and all soft drinks. 'Coke' can but does not necessarily have to refer to the Coca Cola brand. When a Texan says something like 'I need a coke', he or she could easily be referring to a Dr. Pepper or a Pepsi. It doesn't have to be Coke to be a coke. The words 'soda' and 'pop' are not used.
  21. 'Thank you' has many different pronunciations. It can be said with 'thank' as the only truly intelligible word, such as "thank-eh" or "thank-ee". It can also be said, and is more often heard as "thank-yew" or "thank-yeh". Regardless, the phrase is made into one word, and even if one does use the pronunciation "thank-yew", it is said in a way that combines the two words. One can also just say 'thanks'.
  22. We're pretty nice people. Or, well, most of us...uh...some of us are pretty nice people. Those of us that are have the option of using phrases such as "Bless [someone's] heart...", or "God love [someone]..." in order to soften an otherwise negative statement. For example, "Bless her heart, she's just not very bright." sounds a lot nicer than, say, "Wow, that chick's a freakin' idiot."
  23. A word that gets frequent use in the language of Texans is "'nother". It is used in this way: "That's a whole 'nother story." Now, one would assume that this word is just a shortened version of "another", but "a whole another" doesn't make any sense. "Other" would make sense. From this evidence, we can conclude that, in Texan, the word "another" does not exist, but it is instead divided into "a" and "'nother", "'nother being a replacement of the word "other", because it sounds better and rolls off the tongue easier in the context that it is used in.
  24. Inspired by what some may call the poor wording of the last sentence of the last rule, and to expand on rule 15, it is perfectly acceptable to end a sentence in a preposition.
  25. By popular demand: Use of the word 'reckon' is widespread and accepted by all, generally as part of the phrase "I reckon...", interchangeable with "I suppose..." or "I guess...".

3 Comments:

At 5/06/2009 8:03 AM, Blogger SAPJOBS said...

Hilarious and I reckon, pretty much true.

 
At 10/09/2009 9:22 PM, Blogger April said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9/01/2011 2:56 PM, Blogger Odis Smokeyrib said...

I'm a fourth generation Texan, and I liked to died when I read number seven- I spit coffee all over the monitor. Also, it never occurred to me, until you pointed it out, that "whole 'nother story" makes absolutely no sense.

 

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