If you’re from West Virginia, you know that we have our own special accent or dialect. It’s not a Southern accent, though we do say y’all. It’s not midwestern, though we do say pop. It’s distinctly West Virginian.
But it’s changing fast and researchers say some of the hallmarks of our speech are disappearing.
1. “I done folded the clothes”
Formerly known as the perfective done, the word was added to show completion of an action. Hazen told the AP it’s becoming rare to hear that in the state. It’s believed to have come from Middle English.
2. “I’m a-fixin to make a change”
Adding “a-” as a prefix to show present-tense action is also becoming rare, though it lives on because of stereotypes on television and in film. They think it’s been on the decline since the 1960’s.
3. “Them Pirates are on fire!”
Endlessly replacing “these” or “those” is so 20th century apparently. It’s technically known as the demonstrative “them.” The decline in usage has been dramatic, but there are still older people—especially older men the research suggest—that use the term.
4. “Would you like for me to come home?”
Usage of the “for.. to” infinitive is also out the door. It’s when you use the word “for” before a verb that you really don’t need. For example, the sentence above makes complete sense without the word “for.” The dialect project says this mostly appears in people who were born before 1947.
Cherish your memories people.