I don't usually pay much attention to the magazine, true confessions, but this month's "Southern Journal" essay in Southern Living really struck a chord with me. I so totally think Hollywood needs to pay attention. Much as I love The Closer, Kyra Sedgewick and her Thank you so mu-uch and those endless Lew-ten-unts is beginning to wear thin.
And don't people realize there's a difference between the way people in New Orleans and people in Nashville talk? If you've lived in Mississippi, you even know there's a speech variation between Deltans and Coast residents. I know Hollywood (and literature!) can't always re-create such nuances, but please- surely they can figure out something better than stupid Yankees mimicking dumb Southerners.
And while I'm ranting, there's nothing worse than bad Southern speech in books-- dare I say especially kids' books-- Nah, it's any book that crosses that line.
Maybe it's not possible to distinguish between regions in kids' books. (Although, when it counts, a few good writers do manage to get the flavor of certain sections of the country just fine, better than fine- perfect: Thank you very much, Kerry, Barbara, Kimberley, Phyllis- to name a few.)
So I know you do not have to be completely idiotic about it. I mean do all Southerners really sound like they're saying SHOULDA and COULDA all the time? Not to mention writing every other sentence with a dropped final G.
OK, now I got that off my chest. I can get back to work.
If you're interested in a much more articulate rant than mine, pick up the September issue of Southern Living and read Amy Bickers' backpage essay. Or you can click here and read it.
And if you'd like to read something I wrote for the Southern Writers' Blog, way back when I first started over there, on a related topic, click here for South Speak. You can leave me a comment about your favorite Southern expressions and words. And those we'd just never, ever use. Or at least we'd never mispronounce.
I hope Kyra's listening.