In support of cultural evolution of alternative and often derided forms, I wish to laud the language of lethargy.  May we start at the bottom?

Y’all.  The term most mocked among the finer breeds of educated humanity in the USA.  As words suffer from the universal force of entropy, it is clear that “all of you” has been refined (or bastardized if you prefer) to a single syllable word.  Many other such terms exist and have been formalized and informalized in language over time.  Old English forms are still in use in the South.

Much of what is considered a form of ignorance and laziness in speech and movement in the American South is simply indicative of hot and humid cultures, especially rural ones.  As an often repeated piece of colloquial advice goes, “Never stand up when you can sit down. Never sit down when you can lay down.  And, always find the shade.”

Even in the South, the pace of movement is sometimes derided as more indicative of a much older culture from the hot savannas of Africa.  Necessarily lugubrious movement is chided in the “old south” as CPT, or “Colored People’s Time”.  In central Africa it is simply survival time.  And, as is much of what is inherent in the culture throughout the American South, this is a trait common among the whole of the population, but derided in groups.  So CPT, in a bigoted way, reflects the norm of coping with excessive heat and humidity in any context.  Sustaining activity becomes the goal and pace is the means to that end.  Non-productive and rushed movement is discarded.

If it is speech that is impacted, it demands more relaxed guttural sounds, less movement of the mouth and tongue.  If you wish to practice a southern drawl, simply begin to move fewer and fewer mouth parts and eliminate inflections and pitch changes. Then reduce the number of syllables in each word (contrary to the supposition that Southerners add syllables to words, which is an Old English characteristic – bath/ed or inspir/ed).  Soon you will sound like Hank Hill, then Bill Dautrive and finally Jeff Boomhauer.

So, before you pronounce (pun intended) Southern accents and slow movements as indicative of dim-wittedness, be aware that reasons exist for like populations to create a culture in response to their environment.  Dim-witted people exist in northern populations with clipped and rapid fire speech at about the same proportion as they do closer to the equator.

See y’all later, Bubba

About the Author

Gerald Cannon

I growed up po and ignant in Alabama. Then I went off to college and became a socialistic atheistic business school grad with an MBA. Not wanting to add evil capitalistic bastard to my resume, I obtained an antidote degree -the MFA. What a difference a letter makes. Now I teach college and make art. That's more fun and I'm less prone to drift toward the dark side. So, at the advanced age of sixty.... I have chosen mind over matter, joined the League of Defensive Pessimists and have no better answers, only fewer questions.

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