Y’arn’t Gonna Talk Like That Are Ya?
It was around 2002. I was living in beautiful Applachia in Johnson City, Tennessee. I was doing ministry at Eastern Tennessee State University (ETSU).
Proudly, I was one of very few non-Southerners. I am from California and I like to rock that when possible. Regularly I would tease my students about their accents. Seriously they would say some funny things.
One day I was talking to some of my students. They said something and I replied, “Y’arn’t gonna do such and such (fill in the blank) are ya?”
The conversation stopped.
Everyone whipped their heads in my direction and asked, “Y’arn’t?” I was devastated. What would my family and friends from California say now?! I don’t even remember knowing anyone who used “y’arn’t,” which is why they were all taken aback as well. The joking began and it was well deserved. I made sure not to use “y’arn’t” again. Horrible!
Over the last few weeks (yes 10+ years later), my wife has been making fun of me (again deservedly so) because I have started using “y’arn’t” again. I mean, how lazy am I?! I should be saying “you are not going to….” As before, I do not currently know anyone who uses the word. I don’t even know how to spell it! Y’aren’t? Y’rn’t? Yarn’t? I decided on the way that best shows how I say it (no I’m not being prideful here)…y’arn’t.
The bottom line is that I need to stop talking like this. I am not against accents, contractions, slang, etc. But this has gone too far. I am going to be working on this. Feel free to make fun of me if you hear me say y’arn’t.