As a former Texan, I feel justified in asking my Texas friends, ex- neighbors, and those of you that referred to me as a Yankee upon my arrival to your fair state, "Exactly, what the Hell is goin' on down there?"
The first thing that concerns me or if I am talking Texan, "chaps my ass" was hearing about an ongoing study that concluded that the Texas drawl is going away. Part of what makes Texas ...TEXAS, is the slow...ever so slow... pronunciation of the words such as howdy and y'all.
Wouldn't Texas be less Texan if the words fire and far weren't pronounced exactly the same way? (BTW, they would both be pronounced fharr) Would life go on as we know it if the phrase "That dog don't hunt" was said with a Midwestern accent? OMG, the thought of it makes me more than a little queasy.
The University of Texas has been working on this study since 2008. One of the major conclusions from the Texas English Project is the fact that the infusion of people that aren't native to Texas, that are now residing there, are tainting the drawl.
As I was one of the "outsiders" that made my way into Texas, I shouldn't cast aspersions on those folks diluting the drawl, but in my defense, at least I had a Southern accent of sorts. Therefore, it could be said that the 7 years I lived in Dallas, I did less damage to the "twang" than others are doing. Having spent my youth in the South, I already spoke Southern albeit not one of the dialects that are spoken in Texas.
I did have a certain advantage over others though as I had at least a basic understanding of "Southern". For example: When the locals would say that the neighbors two doors down were just "sorry SOBs", I already knew they didn't mean the neighbors were remorseful, they meant those sorry SOBs were worthless.
But not all is lost. According to the study, if you want to hear the true Texas "twang" (and who wouldn't want to hear it?), you could travel to Johnson County or Wise County. In some areas there are still very distinct Texan accents. (meaning it is less tainted by transient speech patterns)
|I tried to draw cowboy boots on fair-going Cheryl P. ....turns out I can't draw decent boots.|
Obviously My ability to draw must not be Texas friendly.
I hate to see any of the regional dialects disappear. You might remember a post that I did about my own accent, called Do I Talk Funny? You don't remember it??? Frankly I'm shocked but whatever.... In that post, I talked about the very strong accent that I picked up while living with my grandparents in Arkansas as a kid. By the time I was twelve and moved North, the damage was done.(at least as far as my undecipherable speech pattern was concerned). The transition to living in Illinois was a tough one. Speaking a language that no one could understand proved to be a challenge. The truth of the matter, however, is that the people around Chicago, had an accent that I couldn't understand either. Plus...they talk really fast.
So back to the point of the Texas English Project. After all is said and done, the very unique accents that were once prevalent in various regions of the country, are becoming diluted as people have become more transient and national broadcasting has further influenced speech. The study did conclude, though, that there will still be regional differences. Those differences may be less and less distinctive.
I tend to love the regional accents. Whether we are talking about the South, East, North or West...I love to hear the distinctive sounds of how people talk. I hope we never come to the point when every one's speech sounds the same.
Thought Number Two: RIP...For Now
The iconic animated figure known as "Big Tex," which has greeted visitors of the State Fair of Texas for 60 years, was destroyed by fire on Friday. Yes, the big 52 foot tall, cowboy went down in flames.
Fair representative Sue Gooding said the blaze started inside Big Tex Friday morning on the fairgrounds in South Dallas, ahead of the event's closing weekend. She said white smoke began billowing from the neck and head area of Big Tex before the flames erupted.
|Did people yell "Fharr, Fharr????|
"There is definitely electrical in the working of Big Tex … to provide movement of the mouth and head," Gooding said. "It would not surprise me if it did happen – if it did start with electrical."
According to Bill Bragg, who voices Big Tex from a PA system in a nearby trailer, it was "business as usual" before the blaze broke out. "Tex was talking perfectly. A beautiful day at Fair Park. And they knocked on the door and they said, 'There's smoke coming out of Big Tex.' I went out. I investigated. I unplugged all of my equipment in the travel trailer, so I could isolate myself from the statue for safety reasons," Bragg said.
One fair goer said smoke gave way to fire that quickly engulfed Big Tex. "The flames dropped down and hit his pants, and once they hit his pants, he just went up in flames," the man said.
The Obituary for Big Tex
- 1949 --Erected as a 52-foot-tall "Santa Claus" on Nov. 10th, 1949, in Kerens to bolster the town's Christmas shopping.
- 1950 -- Transported 60 miles to Dallas and sold to the State Fair of Texas for $750.
- 1952 -- Transformed and unveiled as a giant cowboy named "Big Tex" and made its debut in late October as the official symbol of the State Fair of Texas.
- 1953 -- Speaks for the first time. Over the years, six men have provided the voice for Big Tex, which says "Howdy, folks!" about 60 times a day during the fair.
- 1997 -- Original body was rebuilt on a cage-like frame made of 4,200 feet of steel rods.
- 2000 -- Upgraded with body movements, waving to fair goers as they passed by to the Midway.
- 2002 -- Turns 50, gets an all-new wardrobe and a new voice.
- 2012 -- Destroyed in fire. Fair officials vow to rebuild icon for 2013.
|I'll be back!|
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