Sunday, August 26, 2012

Southerners and Gs

The conservative publication The National Review, not typically known to be a friend to the South, featured an article online recently I found to be a pleasant surprise. I have long held, and occasionally read, that "Southern English" is historically closer to the language of Britain than is its Northern counterpart. In fact, the League of the South even recommends a disregard for Noah Webster's (a Yankee) spelling procedure and an embracing of our European cultural example. For instance, instead of "color" we should spell "colour." Anyway, there are a myriad of old Southern sayings, pronunciations, and grammatical techniques that all correspond with "proper" British English (a far cry from our modern American stereotype of the uneducated South).  Charles C. W. Cooke, in his National Review article,  explains this reality by making an example of the way the "g" in words such as "hunting," becomes dropped by both modern Southerners and their English ancestors.

Southerners and Gs