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.
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!
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.
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?
7/13/2006 11:22:00 AM