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Who in the World Wrote This?

Kathleen Gresham

I’m a many-generation Texan. All I know for sure is that my paternal grandfather’s mother’s ancestors settled in a little town they named Elkart, outside Palestine. That was in 1832, when what we now call Texas was northern Mexico. They were illegal aliens, sneaking in from the United States (Illinois, as a matter of fact).

My grandfather’s great-great-something aunt was Cynthia Ann Parker, the mother of the great Comanche leader, Quanah Parker. I thought that was just a family story till I grew up and discovered that they were part of history.

When I really got interested in Texas accents was in college, when I noticed that you could tell which Texas towns a lot of people were from by the way they talked. Texarkana, for example, has a very distinctive accent. And you can recognize that someone is from Madisonville across a noisy room just by their accent.

I used to be able to imitate regional accents from several parts of Texas—well enough that other people could recognize them.

In recent years so many friends from other states and countries got me interested in Texas accents all over again, and word usage, too. There really is a Texas English.

In fact, there are many regional differences in vocabulary. I love those old expressions, and I hope to share them with Texans old and new in this blog.

Kathleen Gresham


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