Everything is Plural in the South

If you ever get the chance to visit the southern region of the United States, you will notice the plural phenomenon that floods the vocabulary of all true Southerners. Somehow I have managed to avoid programming my brain with too many southern-isms and some people are even in awe of my lack of southern accent. Considering the fact that I have lived all 28 years of my life in Alabama, I do pretty well at steering clear of the traps of a southern accent. Part of this is surely due to the fact that I'm living in a university town that tends to be a hodge-podge of various national and international accents.

I'm not picking on southern accents because when it comes down to it, even if it gets on my nerves, it is home. Here are a few common needlessly plural phrases I have encountered over the years.

"Drivers License"

At 16, it's very common for you to stay out of school on your birthday just to go take your driving test. Our 11th grade English teacher would always ask "Did you get 'em?"... THEM? How many are there? Is there a set of drivers licenses now? My theory on why this becomes plural? Simply because "License" ends with an "s" sound - therefore, it must be referred to as "them".

"We'll see ya'll!"
Ever had someone stop in that just won't leave? They are in the house and they talk for a while. They get up to leave and you are both standing near the door and they are still talking for a while. You make it to the front porch and they are still talking...finally, you reach the car and they get in, roll down the window and continue to talk... when that charade has finally ended they say "We'll see ya'll". What is so irregular about this? They are alone. We who? You got a mouse in your pocket? This can sometimes also be a double-plural if they are alone AND you are alone, but they still say "ya'll". My theory on why this becomes plural? When southern people come visiting they want to be hospitable so they are trying to include the family that isn't with them or the family that isn't with you too - wouldn't want to leave anyone out!

"The Walmarts"
Not only is Wal-Mart plural, but by adding the "The" it makes it even more of proper noun! That is just how important Wal-Mart is to southern life. If I used it in a sentence it would be "Lord, I gots to go to the Wal-Marts tonight and get me some more hamburger meat". My theory on why this becomes plural? There are just so many Wal-Marts that they want you to know its "THE Wal-Marts, you know, the one closest to where they live.

"The Internets"
This is sort of a new-fangled word for many older, southern people. So many computers are out there now and everyone seems to be using computers for their work and day to day entertainment. To use it in a sentence, "The phone's been tied up all dang day 'cause Billy's been on that danged internets". My theory why this becomes plural? Anything they don't understand too well often becomes plural. There are lots of computers out there so do they each have an internet?

No Flight, No Food, No Service

Connecting flights suck. No matter what, you're always looking at your watch hoping you can quickly navigate though the airport you arrive at for your connecting flight so that you'll not only make the take-off time, but so that you might have time to grab a decent snack or have a second to use a normal sized bathroom.

Wednesday we left around 8am for Denver to make sure we would have time for a few leg-stretch breaks and a little lunchh outside of the airport. We arrived in plenty of time and checked in to find that both the current and connecting flights had been delayed due to weather trouble in Dallas. No problem. We shopped around a little--I found myself a couple of great CDs and a planeride snack and settled into a seat with my book. Boarding time was to be at 6:05pm. At 6:00 they announced that they were overbooked and would except volunteers for a later flight. We didn't board until 6:30. The plane was a good 45 minutes later than they had said and therefore we missed out connecting flight.

We arrived in Dallas at 9:30 and departure was at 9:45. We unboarded the plane as quickly as we could (you can never leave a plane "quickly") and we made it to our next gate as quickly as we could but, the plane had left by the time we'd gotten there. Dallas-Forth Worth is a monstrosity of an airport!

They blamed the missed connection on weather and said they wouldn't be able to pay for the room. That is pure B.S. and I plan on filing a complaint. They got us a "distressed passenger rate" at a Marriot in Irving and we took a shuttle over. Well, it was midnight when we arrived and there was not a single place to get dinner near the hotel because it was out in airport land. You know how hotels in the airport area are always in a desolate place? Well, the pizza delivery places were even closed! All we had was a couple of peanut logs and water. Yum.

We had no clothes because our bag was also in limbo. So, we decided to wash our clothes by hand and let them air dry. We had 9 hours for them to dry, so no problem.
It took a good 45 minutes to get it all washed and rung out well enough and then it was time to hit the sack. We set the alarm for 8:30 and slept well in the downy beds.

I woke up at 7:30 and happened to think to check the clothes for dryness and to my horror they were all still really, really Damp. Not wet -- not nearly dry -- but cold and damp. They were not wearable at all so I woke Patrick up so I could figure out what to do. Even his socks were still wet.

In 1 and a half hours an iron and a hotel hairdryer can get most of the dampness out of 2 shirts, 1 pair of pants, 2 socks and some underwear. I still felt a little "humid" when I hit the Dallas morning air.

So, in conclusion, never try to be clever and pioneer yourself into hand-washing clothes. Well worn clothes are better than wet, still semi-dirty clothes.