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#21 patskywriter

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:34 PM

Just curious: You said that your story doesn't take place in a Southern state. So, does your main character happen to live in an area where most of her neighbors are also Southern? This is just my experience, but the Southern whites I encountered while living in Chicago were made to feel self-conscious about their accents—probably due to the movies and television's depiction of them as dumb/unsophisticated. I know that it's totally possible for such a person to be proud of her Southernness (?), but I've just never seen it. Mind you, I'm just one person and I'm just making a comment on what I've personally seen.


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#22 T.J.

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:17 AM

Also, one thing to remember is spelling - y'all is Yankee. Ya'll is southern (but not Texan). 

 

Bless yer heart, seems to be almost universal (I've heard it from FL to TX to OK)  If she was mostly raised by her grandparents (Okies) she's going to sound a bit different from someone in TX. 

 

Okies have a lot of midwestern/southern influence, but aren't southern. The teens in Tulsa often speak the same slang as someone from Denver. She will lose the "g", say "bless yer heart", ya'll, and like BBQ - usually Kansas City Style. She will know what gumbo is, as well as crawfish etouffee. Her accent won't be as in your face, but still heard (and someone from the northern states will mistake it for Texan - a huge insult). Matter of fact, if raised by Okies, being compared to anything Texan is a big insult. She will also be a big beef eater. 


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#23 Eli Ashpence

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 03:50 AM

I've lived on the Arkansas/Oklahoma border for more than 10 years, and I've been living in the general 'South' for even longer.  I'm about six hours from Dallas, where I've gone to the Dallas Arboretum.  I've also spent a week camping on the beach in north Padre island with my family.  So, hopefully I can assist, as well. 

It might be good for you to know that trees and landscape are majorly affected by the particular location.  Texas isn't all desert, nor is it all beach.  And there's a big fluctuation between big cities like Dallas and smaller towns.  Now, the area where my aunt lived in the suburbs of Dallas seemed very similar to a normal middle-class suburb in Arkansas.  The only differences were a potted palm tree and a the air was a lot drier.  They still had grass for a lawn and, IIRC, they has a normal tree in the backyard. 

 

 

LOL  I remember going to Dallas for the first time and being totally flabbergasted by the skyscrapers.  And, yes, I got dizzy from looking up in the business (?) district.  They had a giant ferris wheel you could see from the Interstate and I still (to this day) want to go back to have dinner at Medieval Times. 

That's probably something you need to look out for, too.  For Southerners, there's only streets, the Highway (one-lane either direction) and the Interstate (two-lane either direction, separated by a median).  There's only one or two cities in any state that would have Byways and "OMFG, there's extra lanes--what do I do, what do I do?!"!  And only the Capitals have those big highways that loop up into the sky and twist around each other like Escher painting.... and they're few and far between. 

 

Misc:
When picking a switch, you never want to go for the thin ones... you want to pick up a big, rotten log.  Yes, Daddy always lets you have that one free taste of beer.  Chewing tobacco can be used to treat stings, no matter what anyone in the north tells you.  "Tennis shoes" means sneakers, and not everyone wears boots.  "Coke" means soda, and only older generations call it 'soda'.  Food stamps will always be called 'food stamps'.  Bars are almost exactly as you see them in movies, and the teen bars are mirror images with virgin drinks.  Ho-downs don't exist... or at least I've never been to one.  Then again, living in the South does not mean you live on a farm, so maybe that's just something farmers do.

 

Also, pecan is pecaun.  Not pee-can.

Hope that helps.


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#24 T.J.

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 05:53 AM

Also, pecan is pecaun.  Not pee-can.

Hope that helps.

 

THANK YOU!!! Hate it when they say pee-can. Drives me to distraction. Probably the Arkansan upbringin' LOL


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#25 Madseasongirl

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 07:08 AM

Yes all that definitely helps.

 

@patsky: I don't really have to worry about prejudices, although she is the only important character with a little twang. It's an urban fantasy, and a lot of the story takes place an in isolated temple.

 

@TJ: So, I had no idea about OKies being insulted by being referred to as Texan....so is it a big no-no to have her grandparents (who are native Okies) living in TX?

 

@Eli: My story actually takes place in western PA/another realm, so the landscape isn't as important for this book, but if I do others, it will be good to know. Your Misc. info will be put to good use :)

 

I say pee-can :D


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#26 LucidDreamer

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 07:18 AM

Pe-caun!!

 

Pee-can is what you use when a storm takes out your 'lectricity and the toilets won't flush.

 

:biggrin:



#27 Madseasongirl

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 04:54 PM

Haha, maybe I'll have my character wig out over some pee-cans, I mean, excuse me, Pe-cauns! :tongue:


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#28 TAH

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 02:38 PM

 Maybe I'll just stick to the "ya'lls", "aint's", "ma'ams" and "sirs", and an expression or two...

^This is the best approach in my opinion, especially if this is a contemporary story.

 

And yes, the debutante  ( "southern belles" I guess?) thing is alive and well in New Orleans (where I'm from). And I think it looks like it's a thing in Texas as well. There are a bunch of restrictions to becoming one though.

It's worth your time to google it! It's a little bit crazy that people still throw these massive "coming of age" formal balls!=-)

 

I have a friend from Corpus. I will ask her if there is anything they say/use in particular.=-)

These dialect maps might be useful too: http://www.businessi...ica-2013-6?op=1


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#29 January11555

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 03:41 PM

Born in Dallas and lived in Texas most of my life -- we are notoriously bad about dropping the ending 'g' -- hangin'; lookin'; fixin' -- you get the idea. :wink:

I actually try NOT to use the expected 'y'all' when I speak....mostly it's because I hate the stereotype of a Texas....all of us ride horses to work, have oilfields in our backyards and we always wear cowboy hats and boots, even in bed.

Good luck with your writing!


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#30 Joey

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:34 PM

Not necessarily.  I'm not loaded & still am somewhat of a belle & say many of the sayings.  I lived all but the first 2 yrs of my life in the south (Memphis, MS, LR & ATL)

 

For the record, in Memphis/ATL/Little Rock & the like, we use similar phrases & I've been told by my friends from TX we sound similar.  And y'all can be applied in the singular or plural sense. :)  If you'd like to hear some phrase-ology only from the south, I have a few you might enjoy:

 

  • Confound it! (damn it)
  • What in tarnation? (what in the Hell)
  • too big for your britches

Incidentally, those were all sayings my father used to say to me.  :laugh: But to make your southern character authentic, have her drink sweet tea. I can't go a day without iced tea myself.  Winter, spring, summer or fall.  It's how I roll. 

 

Other silly sayings that I've heard way too much:

  • Runnin' around like a chicken with it's head cut off.
  • Mash the up button on the elevator. (I've never said "mash", but have heard it plenty of times)
  • Don't just sit there like a bump on a pickle.
  • He's so ornery, he could argue with a fence post.

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#31 LucidDreamer

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 06:08 PM

Runnin' around like a chicken with it's head cut off.

 

Oh goodness -- How could I forget THAT one? :smile:

 

My grandmother also used to say -- "Slower than molasses climbing up a hill in January."

 

:biggrin:



#32 Madseasongirl

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 08:27 PM

Those dialect maps were great, thanks TAH! And that would be sweet if you could ask your friend about that. :)

 

"What in tarnation?" That is awesome. I'll definitely have to use that one. I can totally picture my character saying any of those things. I was thinkin' about not droppin' any letters, but I'm leanin' towards gettin' rid of the 'g's.  If I do it on all 'ing' words, would that be overkill? Would it look confused and indecisive if I only did a few?

 

Ah, I totally have "slower than a turtle wading through molasses" but I like yours better Lucid. :)


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#33 Joey

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 03:11 PM

Love the one Vicki came up with! Just please, for me, include some sweet tea somewhere?  Please? 


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#34 Madseasongirl

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 05:45 PM

Oh don't worry Joey, she's going to love the stuff :smile:


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#35 Lanette Kauten

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:11 PM

I think I'm the only Southerner who's ever lived that detests sweetener in my tea, but I do drink a lot of iced tea.



#36 Madseasongirl

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 05:37 AM

Okie doke, new question.

 

In my family, the kids call grandma "nana" and great grandma "grandma". Is there a particular word used often for grandparents, particularly in OK? I know it can even vary statewide, but I haven't quite pinpointed where her grandparents grew up. They live in TX now but I figure something like that would be mostly influenced by where the grands grew up, not so much where they live now.

 

I've heard things like gamie, meemaw, and papi, but those were mostly in movies.


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#37 Lanette Kauten

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:21 AM

I live in Texas, but my grandparents lived in OK. I've always called them grandma and grandpa.



#38 Madseasongirl

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:25 AM

Awesome, thanks Lanette!

 

That's what I have now, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing the mark.


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#39 LucidDreamer

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:28 AM

Grandma and Grandpa where I grew up, although some said Granddaddy. (But NOT Grandmommy. Go figure.) :smile:



#40 AMK

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:51 AM

I live in Tennessee and my kids call their southern gparents mawmaw and pawpaw. I'm not a fan as I grew up in a Yankee household. My folks are from Pittsburgh and Erie and New Castle.




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