Do You Talk To Your Plants?
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Appalachian Grammar Lesson 28

Grammar usage in appalachia 2

Using adverbs without the correct ly suffix is common in Appalachia. A few examples:

  • If I'm not bad fooled I believe his car was red.
  • We ended up walking home in the dark stepping careful as we went.
  • That's a terrible rough country I don't know how those first people made a home in it.
  • I have been powerful tired for days.
  • There's not near as much wild strawberries as there used to be.


Even though I've made a picture of a pretty girl to remind me I don't think I'll be using the ly anytime soon. 


p.s. The Pressley Girls will be performing at the Union County Historical Courthouse in Blairsville GA this Saturday, May 23, at noon

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I'm not a "ly" fan either..

Best "shorthand" phrase ever is "Jeet."

It was something asked of everyone who enterered our house.

"Jeet yet?"

Translation: Did you eat yet?

No one ever came to my Grandma W's house or to my mother's house without hearing that questlon. They both could rustle up a great meal in pretty near no time at all.

Speaking is only half of language. The other half is understanding. If I say something to you and you understand it the way I intended you to, we have a perfect language.

I like to speak my native tongue in the presence of speakers of perfect English just to get a reaction. I often close with a comment "I not frum around here, can ye tell?

Another language commonality between Appalachia & my eastern Kansas and south Texas rural roots.

As far as I am concerned, all of the sentences sound great, Tipper! I always talk this way, but when I write, I tend to use the "proper" grammar!

If we spoke the language correct folks'd think we'us put'n on airs.

Bad fooled is my favorite. I love the old language. Mama kept her childhood speech more than anyone I've ever known.

Hope Pap is feeling better & will be able to get up and around. Praying for him & you & family. I was not blessed with a good father & so know the great value of one.

Hello,Tipper,this is so much like the way so many of us talk here in central Mississippi,I thought it was just normal! I am so proud to hear Pap is out of the hospital.Being at home just makes us feel better.There truly is power in prayer.

Do any of you all have word police in your families ? Our daughter corrects us when we use a particular(ly) obvious Appalachianism. I think it is because of a compound of several things; her own education, concern we will rub off on our grandson and not wanting us to embarass ourselves to her in-laws.

But please don't get the wrong idea. She is a loving daughter, just at a time in her life when it seems more important than it will be in years to come. It seems to me most folks don't appreciate their heritage until enough time and experience has past for them to learn to appreciate it.

As for me, I say with David, "My lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places. I have a goodly heritage." (The KJV does have the 'ly') 😊

Chatter shore is a pretty thing,
boots and all. I'll bet that big
tree is blushin'.

My girls have about given up on me, trying to learn me proper English. I know it pretty well, but leaving out the "ly" just fits in better.

My Prayers continue for Pap and
all his family...Ken

One thing I've noticed here in TN is that not only do we take shortcuts by leaving off letters like the g, we also run some of our words together in our speech. and sometimes even leave out words! (I write a lot more proper and different than I speak!) When I was young and learned in school that we didn't say our words and sentences right I was sort of embarrassed and I guess I thought it was ignorance that we spoke that way. As I grew older I learned that language is not an accurate indicator of how smart or educated a person is, it's only a way of communicating and a good indication of a region of where a person grew up. Nowadays as I have grown older, I am quite proud of our appalachian language, and our way of life. I hope our people never get so educated that we lose it, but I fear someday it will be all gone. Thank you for keeping it alive.

Your examples look fine to me, but I have been working on adding ly and especially the g to some of my words.
Pap, I pray that today finds you pain-free!

It is difficult to know what is correct, as some of these expressions and words have become our language. Your pretty girl in the picture reassures me that we also grow some of the prettiest little ladies in Appalachia.
I am so glad Pap is doing better, and I hope he has some home PT so he can pace himself in his recovery. Now, just what makes me think he would have a tendency to try to overdo? He has become a part of our day, and remains close to our hearts as he mends....keep us updated.

Lots f ly's get left off out here on the edge of the plains as well. And speaking of wild strawberries, the other day I found a bigger patch of them than I've seen in years. Picked a few, but most are still green.


Sounds right to me...LOL

My goodness those girls are getting more beautiful as the years pass...I can't tell which twin....Chitter or Chatter...both are equal(ly)pretty with such sweet smiles!

Thanks Tipper,
Maybe not equal to your examples, but close....LOL

Yes, I noticed that about the Applachain use of adverbs. It's just another way that makes this area unique. Hope Pap will be home soon.

Tipper said:
[Even though I've made a picture of a pretty girl to remind me I don't think I'll be using the ly anytime soon.]

Ain't no need of me startin' a bad habit this far along in life neither. Not hardly.

Tipper that is certain the correct English for us!

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