Visiting Charlotte

I just got back from Charlotte, North Carolina. If I had to sum up the trip in one word, it’d be y’all.

Believe it or not, y’all actually means “you all” in the local dialect. As in, “What would y’all like to drink?” or the possive form “Can I take y’all’s order?” The most frustrating part of my trip was translating the local dialect into a form of English I could understand. The southern drawl actually drawls so much that the words run together into a sort of mumble, similar to how I’m often accused of speaking. It seems we could all learn to enunciate. I found myself starring blankly at many a waiter and waitress, for the life of me not understanding a word they said. I often tried to fake it by nodding my head in agreement, but that seldom works when you’re asked what y’all want to drink.

Before signing off for the evening, I’d just like to clarify that I mean no ill-will toward the southern dialect. They probably had just as hard of a time understanding me. I’m simply pointing out the differences in accent and the confusion it causes, something that can make you quickly relate to a foreigner to whom English is a second language. Too often people hear accents and quickly assign a persona to the dialect they hear. I would suggest this is nearly a form of racism that somehow assumes a certain dialect corresponds with an IQ or standing in society. Learn to appreciate differences, don’t just laugh at something different from you. When everything’s the same you get a pretty boring room. Okay, I’m done now.

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