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Daily Quick Break: May 23, 2008: Innocent English’s Southern Translation Dictionary

But first, a couple of funny signs

Every day Innocentenglish.com posts 2 new funny signs and a funny quick break post. This Quick Break section has today’s quick break plus previous ones, so you can browse thru any you missed.

Funny Signs of the Day

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Now Today’s Daily Quick Break:

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InnocentEnglish.com was able to track down this rare English to Southern Dictionary, which, incomplete though it is, may help to unlock at least a small portion of the mystery that is Southspeak. In much the same way that Canada, primarily an English speaking country, has pockets in which French is spoken, The United States has pockets in the South in which a very different language is spoken. That language has a variety of dialects, but all are more similar to each other than to English. This can pose difficulties for those who don’t speak Southern but who travel to that region. To make matters more challenging, most Southerners are able to understand standard English, and may wonder if those who can’t understand them are perhaps a little dim.
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While some Southerners are suspicious of those who speak other languages, such as standard English, many are very hospitable and happy to accommodate non-native Southern speakers to the best of their ability. It is a little known fact, outside of the South, that Southerners only speak slowly and loudly to those from other regions in order to help them understand Southspeak. It may come as a surprise that when only Southerners are present, they tend to speak much more quickly, as everyone present can understand their language. (This fact is so little known primarily because, due to economic employment migration patterns, it is extremely rare for Southerners to be in a situation in which all those who are present are truly Southern, and even when this rare event occurs, the slow speaking becomes rather habitual.)
One of the few times one has the opportunity to hear the natural rate of Southern speakers is at Southern auctions, because of a long standing tradition (since the Civil War) of Southern auctioneers to not “dumb it down for the Yanks” in order to give Southerners participating in the auction the advantage.
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Southern (Southspeak) to English dictionary:
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HEIDI (noun) — Greeting.
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HIRE YEW (noun with verb) — Complete sentence. Remainder of greeting.
Usage “Heidi, hire yew?”

To read the rest, go to: Innocent English’s Southern Translation Dictionary

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