Y’all Listen Up

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I smile whenever I hear an Appalachian accent.  We moved to eastern Kentucky in the early 1970’s when my husband was hired to teach announcing at a university there.  The colloquialisms were picturesque and at the same time presented a definite challenge for someone aspiring to land a job as a newscaster in a city. He had a heck of a time getting the students to say “pen” instead of “pin”, “oil” not “awl”,”it” rather than “hit” and “pretty” instead of “purdy”.   It wasn’t just country folk — the local professionals also spoke the native lingo.  I remember our veterinarian telling me that our dog needed “arn”.  “Arn??”  I asked.  He repeated it several times like I was remedial or hard of hearing or both.  “Arn,” he shouted.  “Arn! Your dog needs arn!!”  After a long time I finally got it.  He was saying that my dog needed iron.

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