By Norma J. Kirkpatrick

guest columnist

We Southerners have our own way of talking.  No matter how refined and educated we might become, we still understand what someone means, even if it doesn’t make sense.  Who cares about that?  It makes sense to us.  The interpretations of the following statements are in parentheses:
I’m gittin’ along pretty good.  (I feel alright.)
Well, I best be gittin’ along.  (It’s time for me to go.)
I’m gittin’ a long stick next time.  (I won’t get that close to a snake again.)
I’m gittin’ along at my new job.     (It’s not great, but at least I’m working.)
I’m gittin’ a long vacation.  (I’ll be staying at the fishing camp all week.)
I’m gittin’ a hitch in my git along.  (It takes me a few minutes before I can start walking after I stand up.)
I’m fixn’ to do something about that.  (Whenever I feel like it.)
I’m fixn’ the roof next week.  (He’s been saying that for years.)
I’m fixn’ to get ready to think about gettin’ ready.  (I haven’t started yet.)
There’s no fixn’ their problem when they don’t know they’ve got one.  (Don’t waste your time.)
Let me carry that to the house for you.  (I’ll take in the groceries this time.)
They sure were carrying on about nothing.  (They made a scene for no reason.)
Write down a two and carry the six.  (Complicated arithmetic problem.)
I think I have carried this far enough.  (That’s the end of this column.)
Kirkpatrick is a guest columnist for the Opelika Observer. She is a wordsmith who has contributed to teaching materials, magazines and newspapers. She also collaborates with authors on literary projects and writes an occasional poem.  She can be reached at