Too Proper

2 Nov

I was told “You don’t sound like you’re from here”. That was interesting because people normally insult me by saying that I speak “too proper”, like correct grammar is odd.

  Both are true, I’m not from North Carolina and I use the same grammar I learned in school most of the time. I happen to think that grammar is important. The mutilation of words and sentences hurts my ears, not literally, but I feel like I must escape as if it’s a natural disaster that will destroy everything in it’s path.

I never knew I had any kind of accent. I think these country folk are mistaken. I think what they are noticing is the nonexistence of an accent because they have a southern accent which tends to mutilate some words. So on top of speaking too proper, which they aren’t used to, I allegedly have a Northern accent, but I feel skeptical about having any accent at all. I don’t truly know what they mean by accent, I admit. I think an accent is the manner in which a culture mutilates words and grammar. Sometimes I take on an accent to reach a point more quickly like saying “Ya’ll” instead of “You all”. I don’t know if slang is included in an accent. I’ve stopped saying “ain’t”, it may be a syllable less than “isn’t”, but I was always told that “ain’t isn’t a word.” It’s amusing that my grammar is a topic of conversation for some people. I’m thinking that people whom look upon me confused and amazed are those that couldn’t remember correct grammar if they tried, so what they really want to ask is “How do you do it?” How do I remember all those grammar rules like using “I” last in a list of people? “My sister and I…” I usually use the word “Whom” where appropriate and sometimes do not use contractions at random, maybe I sound like a robot to people and that’s why they look at me strangely. I’m not a grammar snob or anything. I’ll tell you the truth. I’m afraid that if people use their way of speaking around me that I’ll pick it up. Then if I do speak like “normal” people, even if it’s just to make others comfortable or make them stop looking at me like I’m not a real person, then I may forget which way was correct, which many of them have done. Shhh! That’s a secret I have only said here, everyone else just thinks I’m antisocial. I have no true interest in seeming “normal” anyway. I love proper English and feel guilty everytime I briefly abandon it just so I can stop talking sooner.


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