Its time for this month’s Appalachian Grammar Lesson.
Often I’ll think of word usage that is common here in Appalachia-and I’ll know it’s not correct usage-but its been so long since I had grammar in school-I can’t figure out how to explain what I’m trying to say.
Lucky for me-and you-the 2 words (wantin & liking) I had on my mind this month are described in the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English.
In 7.1 of the Grammar and Syntax of Smoky Mountain English I found the following:
“Progressive forms are frequently employed for stative verbs of mental activity, especially want, in the process giving the verbs a dynamic interpretation.”
Trying to understand exactly what the quote says-kinda makes my brain hurt. I think it means the words wanting and liking are typically used to describe feelings, however in Appalachia (and probably beyond) they are sometimes given more emphasis-which almost makes them seem like action verbs.
I really don’t have a clue if that’s what the quote means or not-but I do know the following examples can be heard on a regular basis in the southern mountains of Appalachia.
- “I saw him walking down the road about dinner time. He said he was wantin somebody to take him to town to buy some cigarettes.”
- “I was liking that crowd up at the resturaunt just fine until they got to talking ugly. I never said a word to nobody I just up and left.”
Hope you’ll leave me a comment and tell me if you’re familiar with hearing or using the words like and want in this manner.