Sunday, June 17, 2012

Charlotte Observer's Elizabeth Leland Writes About Charlotte

How about a little vomit with your coffee this morning? If that sounds like fun have a read of the Observer's last remaining writer's take on Charlotte here.

Leland's attempt at humor falls flat and rather than being an informative piece it does nothing but dumb down the area while trying to promote Charlotte as the nation's "21st Century energy hub".

Charlotte from back in the 1980's

Her take on DNC 2012 attendees: "Some people are sure to show up with the usual stereotypes about Southerners as bigots and rednecks, slow-walking, slow-talking, slow-thinking. They may be wary of venturing here because of the ugly legacy of slavery. Or they may arrive with a cinematic vision of magnolias and mint juleps."

And it gets worse:  "We’re only a few generations removed from separate water fountains and the lynching of hundreds of innocent black people."

It becomes comical as Leland pens the follow up about how Southerner's speak with "Y’all ever wonder why Suthinas talk the way we do? With the sub-hed "Like many things, our accents date back to the Civil War" which is here.

According to Leland "The Southern drawl owes its lyricism to those first black Southerners. While forced to work as slaves, they created an unwritten creole language of their own".

Leland is of course wrong, but understandably so, a reporter's job is to condense a lot of information into a news story. However when the subject is something as complex as language the result is garbage.

Immigrants from England, Scotland and Ireland who arrived in the Southeastern states in the 16th and 17th centuries are the foundation of our southern way of speaking. Nearly 150 years before the war of northern aggression.

Leland is also wrong in that her piece promotes the misconception that speaking "Southern American English" is limited to a small geographic area. The truth is SAE is the language of choice for almost 1/3 of Americans.

Read them both of Leland's stories if you like, but if you grew up in Charlotte as I have, and if your family's southern roots go back to the early days of the American Revolution as mine do, you might just grab your coffee and head outside to take in the beauty of a surprisingly cool Carolina morning, instead.

Thankfully, my New York Times Sunday Edition "is fixin" show up in my driveway right about now.

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HDLadee said...

Don't ya love it when someone tries to re-write history? The Southern draw is from slavery, REALLY? *sigh*

She did an awful job...I'm with you, I would have been better off NOT reading it!

Anonymous said...

This is just as awful as the glowing piece of garbage she wrote about Rodney Monroe, where she claimed everyone who was "against" his bad acts was racist, but then got his wife to say none of it was true (problem solved, no research necessary).

How does she have a job? Oh, wait, it's the Charlotte Observer.

Anonymous said...

The newspapers name should be changed to the Charlotte Disturber. As they put nothing out but TRASH!!!

Anonymous said...

Is it really any surprise coming coming from the paper that is two subscriptions away from Chapter 11?

Pure unadulterated garbage. That slow drawl which prompts so much embarrassment for Ms. Leland should also prompt her to move north where they speak a faster more progressive English. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Cedar- Rodney King dead and no link. We need to celebrate. The trouble he caused. I know, it is bad or me...but the world is round.

Anonymous said...

You need to celebrate?

Anonymous said...

Had Rodney pulled over and submitted to the arrest, 55 people would still be alive, 2000 uninjured and $1 billion undamaged. Yeah! I'm celebrating his trip to hell. I'm thinking he probable did it to himself to make things right. Might be the only decent thing he did.

Round baby, the world is round. Goes round comes round.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday was a good day. Dale Jr. won a race and Rodney King is no longer around to cause any more problems.

Anonymous said...

Leland is just a runt with a "C"