Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm Pissed, Y'all: A Short Exposition on Ignorance

While waiting on my 19th British novel class today, a few classmates and I were discussing people with poor grammar--the ones with no idea what the difference is between it's and its, your and you're, etc. Another classmate decided to put her two cents in but in an entirely different vein. She began a short rant on her "hickey" boyfriend and his y'all's and yonder's. I proceeded to explain to her that those words and many others are actually descended from Old English, Irish, and Scottish dialects, the literature of which is taught in our department as classic. I also told her that "y'all" is basically the only elegant and efficient way to denote a plural you in English and that she was offensive. She looked shocked, and I walked off. After class, she came up to me and said, "I didn't mean to offend you." I responded, "Then you shouldn't have said it."

First, that isn't an apology. An apology would have been: "I'm sorry I offended you." "I didn't mean to offend" means you actually did mean what you said, but you're incredibly sorry you were overheard. So, just no...Second, when are people going to learn that country and ignorant are two entirely separate things. I am quite country most of the time, but I simply know how to write and speak in a more academic manner. My accent never really disappears, and I wouldn't want it to. But I am sick and tired of my extended i's and odd word choice calling my intelligence into question. For the record, there are just as many ignorant people from northern cities as from the rural south.

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