Y’all Listen Up
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.