Sunday, September 13, 2020

We Always Lie to Strangers

Vance Randolph, famous for Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales, also wrote a number of scholarly articles, in some of which he argued that the Ozark dialect was closer to Elizabethan English than to contemporary English.

I think Randolph exaggerated, and that gives me  an idea for a story. Say some isolated Ozark settlement learns of the scholar Randolph and his theory, and the folks there decide to play a joke on him, the biggest practical joke ever played on anybody. They decided to arrange somehow for him to hear of their isolated place in which 'Elizabethan' English is still spoken, and he decides to pay them a visit.

Now, they can't speak Elizabethan English, but they can speak King James English, because they do so every Sunday, and that's close enough to fool Randolph, or so they believe.

I'd title the story, The Town That Spoke King James.


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