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.

Add yours ↓
  1. Chris Paulk

    I think you should grow a beard out (channel your inner Duck Dynasty) & only wear overalls! I think Jorjanne would agree with your correct spelling of “y’aren’t.” My philosophy is that if you are going to make contractions, use them in a grammatically correct fashion.
    Also, watch the double negatives. People in the south misuse double negatives often. So, for example, one way of saying “I am good at English” could be “I ain’t never been no good at no English.” See, two sets of double negatives all cancel themselves out! Hence, I am good at English!

    April 24, 2014
    • adamsuter

      I wish I could “like” or “favorite” your comment.

      April 27, 2014