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Speech

Speech

Proper Pronunciation of Appalachian

So, today I got a lesson in Appalachian culture (grin).

Say, "Appalachian" out loud.

Really, say it!

So, did you pronounce the word like "apple" + "latch" + "un" as in under, or did you pronounce Appalachian like "apple" + "lay" +"chin"? Be honest!

Well, I've been schooled: the former is correct and you can tell an outsider by his incorrect use of "lay-chin!"

Terrain Feature

The Army taught me there are several terrain features: hill, draw, spur, depression, cliff, cut, fill, valley, ridge and saddle.

In West Virginia, there is another terrain feature called a "holler"; this word does not mean, "to raise one's voice, to cry aloud, or to shout". Instead, it is a land characteristic, often found in West Virginia, consisting of a low area, surrounded by higher areas. It is not pronounced "hollow", but "holler".

Time Frames

While we're on this subject…

When an Appalachian (ok, how did you pronounce it, really?) resident refers to a period of time, they use the preposition "of". This unusual twist of speech makes for an awkward bump in normal dialogue, but it actually grows on you. For instance, if you are supposed to, in the next morning, go fishing with a friend, you would say, "We'll go fishing first thing of a morning". This is probably like the difference in "watching" TV and "looking at" TV. Hey, we're not English majors, here!

Account

Ha! I heard another one... When I was describing a drill bit sharpener (it's a guy thing!), my colleague asked abrubtly, "Any Count?" My reply was a dull, "Huh?" The phrase is really "any account", derived from the idea of no account, or accounting for nothing. I do love language! And yes, the drill bit sharpener is really cool!