Appalachian Dialect or Standard English? Place Is the Answer
Balancing Standard English with respect for Appalachian Dialect inherent to Harlan County, Kentucky, has been a life-long effort. “I didn’t send you to college to come home and tell me How to Talk,” Dad said in 1986. For as long as I remember, Mom said, “If you ever wanna get out’ta of here, you got’ta learn How to Talk.” Leaning too deeply in Dad’s direction would have limited my choices, my job options, but tilting too far toward Mom would have depleted me of depth and culture found hiding in hollers and hills. It’s been a Balancing Act.