No. 420


There is an old saying that goes, ãYou can take the girl out of the country, but you canât take the country out of the girl.ä Several years ago, I got to know a fellow public speaker by the name of Franklin McGee, who lives down in Anniston, Alabama. He often tells the story of the young lady from their neck-of-the-woods, who graduated from college and went to work in the New York office of the French National Airlines. After a short time it became obvious that her accent and use of the Kingâs English was going to be a major distraction for many of the airlineâs patrons.

At this point, a very conscientious young supervisor took it upon himself to teach her how to develop a more refined manner of speaking. His first task was to train her how to properly answer the telephone. He taught her to say, ãAir France·May I help you?ä He even suggested that she put a little more French into the title and say, ÎARR -FRONCE·May I help you?ä This young supervisor thought he was doing good until the next day when the telephone rang and he heard her pick it up and say, ãARR - FRONCE·May I hep ya?ä

As I have said before, one of the great joys I have in writing and marketing this column is that I get to talk with people all across the nation. In the past several years I have talked with many different newspaper people in every state in this great country. Itâs interesting to hear and detect the different accents, like the Southern drawl down in Georgia, Mississippi and to some degree in the Carolinaâs. To be sure, the Cajun people in South Louisiana talk differently, as do the people up in Boston and the New England area. You can go from the Ozarks, to Texas, to the Mid-Western states like Montana, Kansas and Nebraska, and you will find that the majority of these people all have a different accent, as well. The same is true when you talk with people out on the West coast in the states of California, Oregon and Washington.

If you have me tuned in you are probably saying, ãitâs not just the accents but the words, expressions and colloquial sayings are different too.ä Iâm sure you know that much of the strength of America comes from our diversity. In fact, the Latin phrase E PLURIBUS UNUM found on the Great Seal of the United States means ãfrom many one.ä To illustrate what I am saying I thought I might share some Texas Style Vocabulary that was sent to me by Dr. Karen Robbins, who lives in Belton, Texas. First I will give a saying and then, if necessary, explain what it means. 1. AS WELCOME AS A SKUNK AT A PARTY. No explanation necessary.

2. TIGHTER THAN THE BARK ON A TREE. Means not very generous. 3. BIG HAT, NO CATTLE. This means all talk and no brains. 4. WEâVE HOWDIED BUT WE AINâT SHOOK YET. This means we have made a brief acquaintance, but we have not been formally introduced. 5. HE THINKS THE SUN CAME UP JUST TO HEAR HIM CROW. This means he has a pretty high opinion of himself. 6. ITâS SO DRY THE TREES ARE BRIBINâ THE DOGS. This means we could use a little rain around here. 7. JUST BECAUSE A CHICKEN HAS WINGS DOESNâT MEAN IT CAN FLY. This means that appearances can be deceptive.

8. THIS AINâT MY FIRST RODEO. This means that I have been around for a while. 9. THE DOGS KEPT HIM UNDER THE PORCH. This means that he is not the most handsome of men. 10. THEY ATE SUPPER BEFORE THEY SAID GRACE. This means they are living in sin. 11. AS FULL OF WIND AS A CORN-EATING HORSE. This means he or she is rather prone to boasting. 12. YOU CAN PUT YOUR BOOTS IN THE OVEN BUT THAT DONâT MAKE THEM BISCUITS. This means that you can say whatever you want about something but that doesnât change what it is. 13. WEâRE IN TALL COTTON. This means that things are going well.

Since I have a little space left, I have something else you might enjoy called ãThe Ten Commandments in Cajun.ä This is yet another example of how people talk differently in other parts of the country. No. 1. God is number one·and dasâ All. No. 2. Donât pray to nuttinâ or nobody·jusâ God. No. 3. Donât cuss nobody·âspecially da Good Lawd. No. 4. When it be Sunday·pass yoâself by Godâs House. No. 5. Yo mama anâ yo daddy dun did it all·lissen to dem.

No. 6. Killinâ duck anâ fish, dasâ OK·people-No! No. 7. God done give you a wife·sleep witâ jusâ her. No. 9. Donât take nobodyâs boat·or nuttin else. No. 8. Donât go wantinâ somebodyâs stuff. No. 10. Stop lyinâ·yo tongue gonna fall out yo mouf! Thanks!! Das All. Roger over and out. Sinara. Adios. Adieu. Good-bye. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)