I was born and bred in Texas. I speak the Texan language. I say things the Texas way. Until six months ago, I had never lived outside of my native homeland and now have been introduced to a culture that says things a different way. Many things make sense, others do not not. Now, however, I find myself saying things in the language of others.
In Northwest Arkansas, you cannot say that the people here speak Arkansan language, because they are transplants from North, East, West (I haven’t found many from the South, for whatever reason.) There are some universal phrases that I have been learning that have taken a little time to figure out. Being a Southern boy, I have picked up on a few of these and have done my best to interpret what they are saying.
You’ins – pronounced You Ins – This is the northern way of saying Ya’ll. This was the toughest one for me to figure out. But to me it is a cool word.
Creeks – pronounced Cricks – these are the small streams of water that run through the mountains and valleys. We are now trying to re-train Sonya how to say this word.
Hollows – pronounced Hollars – A hollow is a a forest of trees as the mountains descend into the valley and make up a clump of trees. I figured this one out when we were hiking one day. They are called hollars because when you get in there you can hollar real loud and hear an echo:)
Weed-whip – AKA Weed Eat – This one makes the most sense to me. For years us Texans have called it Weed-Eating, when in fact our weed eater doesn’t actually eat the weeds. It does indeed whip them and knock them down. Now I am re-programming myself to say Weed-whip. The only consolation is that there is an actual brand that is called Weed-eater. That is why we call every brand, weed-eater. Kind of like the next word.
Coke – Every soda under the sun. Here up north they call it Soda or Pop. Down south every brand is known as a Coke. The question is always asked, “What kind of Coke do you want?” The answer could be DR. Pepper, Pepsi, Orange Crush etc. We go to Coke machines down South, up here they are Soda Machines.
The point to all of this is that different people say things different ways and understand things different ways. When communicating, we must speak how we are comfortable and in our normal language. It is the same with communicating the gospel. We must share the gospel in ways that are effective and the way people understand.
We do not have to speak in King James language. It is not more holy to talk or pray that way. Rather, we should meet people where they are. Talk where they can understand and then let the Holy Spirit work in their hearts. Each person has a way of saying things and understanding things. As believers, we must speak in a way that the gospel goes out and God does the rest.
Disclaimer: I am not poking fun at the way Northerners talk. I have a sneaky suspicion that I speak another language:) We all have interesting ways to say things.