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Y’all better hold on to yer britches.
The Associated Press recently announced a slew of new changes, so now seems like an opportune time to offer a few more to our genteel Grammar Gatekeeper.
Why not? It’s worth a shot, and I do declare that Southern words and phrases should move to the front of the approval line—if for no other reason than that they are fun to say and hear.
Grab a basket of hush puppies, refresh your sweet tea or other libation that’s been soaked in a bourbon barrel, and let’s review the merits of fine Southern expressions that deserve validation.
[Editor’s note: Reading the following examples aloud in a drawl thick as molasses in January is not compulsory, but it dad-gum oughta be.]
I’s—It’s a more efficient version of “I was.”
We’ve embraced similar contractions, such as “I’d,” so why not?
“I’s gonna head into town, but my dang tractor broke.”
Yer—Saying “you are” sounds weird and takes way too much time to annunciate. Writing “you’re” looks funny. “Yer” sounds right, looks right, and doesn’t it just feelright?
“If you yell ‘Roll Tide’ in my face one more time, yer gonna git it.”
(For more on “gonna” and “git,” jes’ read on a spell.)
Gonna—Gonna has landed a rightful spot in the dictionary, apparently, but there’s still a stigma attached to this perfectly fine word. Let’s make it official and get it into the Stylebook, AP.
“I’m gonna mow the grass; just let me finish my Miller High Life,