Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado on March 15, 1976 · Page 23
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Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado · Page 23

Greeley, Colorado
Issue Date:
Monday, March 15, 1976
Page 23
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Mm., March 15,197C GREELEY (Colo.) TRIBUNE 25 Movie cowboys all talk purt near lak Texins cuz thy sposeta By KKNNKTI! F. ENULADE DALLAS (UPI) - Tess up, John Wayne. Tell two generations of Wild West fans you ain't really a Texan, although your accent is rat nass. Wayne, and untold thousands of othsr actors, drawled iheir way to fame and fortune impersonating the original U.S. hero -- the cowboy. A prerequisite for anyone impersonating a cowboy is being able to talk like one, or ' at least like Ihe rest of the country thinks a cowboy should talk. Dr. Harold Weiss, who teaches phonetics at Southern Methodist University, said . there are 15 major dialects in the United Stales, but basically the speech patterns are Southern, New England and Midw- ; estern with regional variations. ; This contradicts a basic belief in many parts of the country -a belief perpetuated by Texans -- that the method of oral communication in the nation's second largest slate is a language all its own. Take, for example, a piece of dialogue from Santa Fe, N.M., author Richard Bradford's novel, "So Far from Heaven:" "Ah, you're from Texas. I would nevrr have gupssprl it Where did you learn to speak English?," one of the characters, a New Mexican, asks Ihe novel's hero. "Remedial speech class at Rice University. I kept pebbles in my mouth for three years." "Can you do the accent? It always breaks me up. I think · it's funnier than Yiddish." "Shore uh kin," the hero replies. "Ah kin say purt near anythang yew lak in Texin but Uh cain't talk Meskin for sour dawg hockey." The implication is (hat Texan is a separate language, perhaps in the same relationship to English as French is to Spanish. But Weiss said it isn't true. "Texas is not a language, it's a conglomerate. It's a big state, people have come and gone," he said. Basically, the Texas accent is Southern. The state's early seniors came from the South, mainly Tennessee and Alabama, with some from Kentucky and Georgia. And their linguistic heritage lingers. But, as Weiss said, Texas is a big state. It's 821 miles from El Paso east to Texarkana and 784 miles from Amarillo south to Brownsville. Topography varies from the wooded hills and swamps in the east to the arid plains and barren mountains in the west; from the semitropical Lower Rio Grande Valley in the south to the temperate climale in the north. Like Ihe land, the people and the accents also differ. The East Texans, for example, have retained more of the Southern dialect. "Thi! i: fhp I:cngla:'! line." Weiss said, drawing a rough outline of the United States on his desk blotter and penciling in a curved line running west from north of West Virginia, across the Middle South swinging sharply southward just east of Dallas lo the Mexican border. "On this side of the line it's Southern; on the other it's Midwestern," Weiss said. West Texas is on the other side of the line, but it's dialect is by no means Midwestern. "This is the wide open space area," he said, pointing to West Texas. "It shares a dialect with Arizona and New Mexico." He said the West Texas dialect is a mixture of Midwestern and Southern -- a kind of ranch country language. One of the last well-known speakers of the Texas dialect was President Lyndon B. Johnson, whose ranch in the Texas Hill Country must have just about straddled the Iso- glass line. "I think he did it (spoke in dialed) purposely. He adopted il so Texans would think he was one of them," said Weiss, w.ho has lived in Texas 30 years but is not a native Texan. He said he had heard Johnson speak without the accent enough to think it's use was affected. "He could talk and you wouldn't know he was a Texan," Weiss said. Characteristics of the West Texas speech, Weiss said, include the tendencies not to pronounce the"e" in the dip thong "ie" in words such as "fire" and "die" or to drop the sound of the "r" in most words, puch a« "far" and "harn " Many a West Texan, for example, will pronounce identically the name of the German city, "Bonn", and Ihe word for the building where farm implements are stored, "barn." On the other hand, Texans, particularly West Texans, will differentiate in their pronunciation of the words "Mary" (which they pronounce mahry) and "marry 1 'while residents in most other sections of the country will say the words identically. The Texas accent also comes over strong on such words as "get," "pen" and "ten" which come out roughly as "git" "pin" and "tin." A man named Jim Everhart has made a small fortune -and won quite a bit of fame -with four thin volumes titled "The Illustrated Texas Dictionary." Everhart uses a technique described by Weiss as "slur- vian" -- taking one American word and using it to phonetically show the pronounciation of a nother word -- to demonstra te how Texans talk. "Lard," for example, in Texan means (he deity, as in the sentence: "Lard only knows what happened." Some other Everhartisrns: "Prod -- a high opinion of one own's dignity, importance, elc. "Ah take prod in mah work.' "Far -- to discharge a firearm. "Stop or ah'm gonna far.' "Heidi -- an expression of greeting. "Heidi, neighbor." "Fair ~ a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, etc. The only thang we have to fair is fair itself.' "Markin -- a citizen of the United States.'Ah'ma Markin. 1 "Lacked -- was on (he verge of or came close to. 'Ah lacked to died laughin'.' "Wahr -- metal in the form of a flexible thread or rod. 'The barber said mah har was jes like wahr.' "Bah -- short for 'goodbye. 1 'Well, Ah'll see yawl later. Bah.' Although Texas was once part of Mexico -- thousands of its citizens are of Mexican descent and Ihe state shares an 890-mile border with Mexico -Ihe Mexican influence on Texas speech is almost nonexistent. Even the city names that come direcly from Spanish have been changed in pronunciation to Texan. La Mesa -pronounced lah maysah in Spanish -- becomes "lah meesah" in Texan. Colorado City is pronounced "col-ah-ray- doh" and Mexia -- correct pronunciation "mah-hee-ya" -becomes roughly "man hair." "People imitate the prestige speakers." Weiss said, and in Texas history there has been nothing prestigious about being Mexican. But Weiss believes times are changing and eventually the entire United Slates, including Texas, will one day speak with a Midwestern accent. The main factors, he said, are people resettling and bringing their accents with I hem and television, where everyone speaks (he same. However, Ihe change is coming aboul much slower than Weiss predicted years ago. And he said the day of unispeak is being further postponed by (he popularity of Western films and Western music. "II is acceptable, prestigious lo speak in the country style. As long as they put on cowboy movies and it is prestigious to talk like (hat .. as long as it doesn't mark you as less intelligent."he said. Vegetarian lunch center has waiting list SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (AP) -- Student interest in vegetarianism lias led to the establishment of a vegetarian lunch center at Mount Molyokc College. Open since September, the center has.300 students regularly using its facilities and a waiting list of 20, according to John Hansel, director of fcod services. Susan Read, student organizer rf the jngram, and scv- cral other students met with Hansel lo work out the details after determining the extent of student interest in an alternative eating program. The center was established in Pearsons dining hall because it is the largest dormitory eating facility on campus. A vegetarian dinner center hn:! net !;?or, set up becnusr, according to Hansel, "eating dinner in a student's own dor- milory is a tradition at Mount Holyokc. Students eat lunch in one of several different lunch centers around campus, so they're moving around anyway. A vegetarian dinner center would mean displacing students from their own dormitory." Most students do not object (o having vegetarian meals at lunch only. Miss Read said. Arr.png di?hor pprvpd an.* eggplant parmesan, corn custard, Caribbean bean casserole, lentil slew. This is the big one!.. cobb*Reynolds THE SINGER SPRING SALE TOO OFF IN EXCLUSIVE SWING AWAY* CABINET THE FABULOUS FUTURA* II SEWING MACHINE WITH FLIP SEW* 2-WAY SURFACE Flip a panel for instant free-arm sewing of all hard-to-reach areas. Many advances, like buttonfitting 1-step buttonholer. AMAZING LOW PRICE FOR A GREAT ZIG-ZAG MACHINE Easy sewing with exclusive front drop-in bobbin. Hurry, limited quantities. Carrying case or cabinet extra. There's No Place Like SINGER 207S Greeley Mall 352-4939 ol THE SINGER COMPANY fashion Fabrics FASHION BY THE YARD ' W^^*^ Today Thru J Sale Good Thru March 20,1976 Coats Clark® Red Heart* Wintuk Yarn Train Cars Arriving Daily 79° gg ^^m skein 100% Orion* Acrylic Fiber The Worlds Best Loved Yarn! · 30 Colors...White, Red, Eggshell, Yellow, Brown, Lt. Gold, Coffee, Pink, Tangerine, Lt. Yellow, Black, Verigated Lullahy, Med. Navy, Skipper Blue, White Sparkle, Lt. Olive, Verigated Orange and many, many more! Reg 1.29 Our Everyday Low Price ... Everyday! Exceptional Value Dress Trim · Many Prelty Laces to Choose From! · No Limit v · Just In Time For Easter 5 Stock Up Now! CAREFREE PATTERNS McCALLS 4548 Zippers 10 ' Large Selection of Metal Zippers in Assorted Colors Sizes / Large Assortment o f . . . Sewing Notions i Measuring Tapes. Thimbles. Tracing Paper. Tracing Wheels. Many More. 3 FOR 99 Stuff Your Pillows With Shredded Foam Just For You For Spring ... Gauze · 100% Cotton · Many Prints, Plaids Plains to Choose From . 45" Widths · Easy Care 2 49 (the be/t ^ /election of notion/ anywhere! 1536 8th Ave., Greeley 352-4454 Daily 9:30a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday Noon-S p.m. · 1 Pound Bags · 100% Polyurethane · Hundreds of Uses 100% Vinyl Assorted colors 54" Widths Easy To Use! S a v e . . . Fabric Dept. 3635 W. 10th St., Greeley Dally 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday 9 a.m. t o t p.m. Vogue Simplicity Mc( lulls kiV

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