Southeast Texas Varnackuler

No, the title is not misspelled. It’s just spelled phonetically. Or at the least the way I would say it.

Yes, I’m from Southeast Texas, and that’s the way we talk. As a writer, I’m a stickler for spelling stuff correctly. And I make no bones on correcting anyone’s spelling, whether it’s my mom or my boss. Case in point, my current General Manager, which is technical terminology for ‘Tha Boss Man’, wrote a memo right after he was promoted. There were a few misspelled words, a couple of things going on grammatically I wouldn’t have used, but overall, he made his point. I’ve been knowing this man for a few years now and would go as far as saying that we have a pretty good relationship. He laughed when I handed over his corrected memo, but I really think the point I made sunk in…if you want the position, please write a memo worthy of the position. This was an inhouse memo, but what if it was a memo which needed to be shared with other company personal, say at the corporate level. I’m very confident he would have read it over very carefully, and made sure it was free of grammar and spelling problems.

My coworkers pick on me, for good reason, because of the way I say things. I wonder if it’s just laziness or if it’s merely from the environment which I was raised. My parents are smart, very smart, yet both come from Southeast Texas, and their speech patterns follow what one would expect from this region. Take for instance, the phrase with you. I tend to pull a Jeff Foxworthy and pronounce it witcha, which sounds like witch-ya. I think Jeff actually used a variation of the word with Widyadidya. “Say, you didn’t bring your pickup truck widyadidya.”

Definitely southern fried as you can get.

So I say witcha when I mean with you. Big deal. Get over it. I would never write those two words like that, and that should suffice.

My sales manager picks on me because of how I pronounce the word author, as in writer.

I say it Arthur, as in the name Arthur.

I don’t know why. He pointed it out, and I’ve been saying it wrong for so long, it’s difficult for me to say it properly now. It comes out like aur-thour, which is worst than just saying arthur. But when I’m talking to him about writers and books and such, I can only imagine he’s wondering who this Arthur guy is, and where’s the rest of the sentence I was saying.

I guess it’s true. You can’t teach an old dog how to talk right, but you can teach him how to write it properly. Thank goodness I paid attention in school. Now, if you brought your checkbook witcha, I’m going to tell you about this new arthur, and you’re going to want his books.

Just kidding.


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