Not Hooked on Phonics

“Spelling is a spell,” Erykah Badu

When I was in the third grade at Caverna Elementary in Horse Cave, Ky, I had a strong accent. While south-central Kentucky is not technically Appalachian, there are many similarities including accent and food. As kids I was not award of my accent so let my words tumble out with a distinctly country accent. Self-modulation came later.

It was during this school year that someone thought it would be a great idea to start teaching my class how to read and spell using phonics. We were told SOUND IT OUT! So, that was what I did. I sounded it out, pee-nut budder. I lost the pin holding my him, but I found my pincil and pin.

I did not do well on the “sound it out” spelling tests. I felt like a failure. I could not understand what I was doing wrong. I had no idea that the instructions worked better for people who spoke like Walter Cronkite on the nightly news.

To this day I still can’t spell worth a damn. I was never able to cast a spell to improve my spelling.

“I got my own way of livin’ but everything gets done with a southern accent where I come from” Southern Accents, Tom Petty

Written for Wednesday Writing Prompt 59 from my blogging friend, astrologer and Tarot reader Holly.

18 thoughts on “Not Hooked on Phonics

  1. mamabpray says:

    I really like this. A LOT. I am a country girl, but I was told I have a “too proper speaking voice,” for where I was from and my background . I was ridiculed for sounding “too proper” or whatever that means LOL. I think that everyone’s voice is beautiful and should be heard, and celebrated, so you writing this piece, especially during these times, is brilliant. Keep speaking in that beautiful country twang and know that it is your voice for a reason, and now it’s being heard.

    Stay Safe&Smart


  2. Art of the Beat says:

    I hear ya on the spelling but my issue is grammar, I am a big offender of those rules. Funny, but I always wanted to have a distinguishing accent instead of my generic Californian tone but really I think every one have an accent to someone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres says:

    I have a different and quite odd spelling problem: doubled consonant. Where there should be two, I put one, and where one would do, I double the letter. I have a reader who graciously (that is, privately) lets me know when I’ve done it again. The last time, it was ‘peninsula,’ which I always spell ‘penninsula.’ Don’t even ask me to spell the name of that long, green, summer squash that begins with ‘z’!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eilene Lyon says:

    I’m a bit of a nut for spelling (won the bee in 3rd grade), but phonetics is no way to learn to spell in English, for sure! I think it’s great that we have regional accents, though I think they are gradually disappearing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Debbie says:

    I’m blessed with the ability to spell (saves a LOT of time from looking up words, since I usually get distracted by dictionaries!). I had wonderful grade school nuns who drilled us in the basics. That said, yes, I do “talk Southern,” and am very proud of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Barbara Rodgers says:

    I love listening to people’s accents and trying to guess where they grew up. I also have this tendency to pick up the accent of anyone I’m spending time with. My mother told me she could always tell when I made a new friend at school…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. cindy knoke says:

    Love this! But dang, I thought Tom Petty was from Reseda, remember. “And it’s a long day livin’ in Reseda, There’s a freeway runnin’ through the yard. And I’m a bad boy, ’cause I don’t even miss her, I’m a bad boy for breakin’ her heart.”
    I assumed he grew up by the awful freeways in LA (not Louisiana!) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rebecca s revels says:

    Being from North Carolina, I could have had the same issues but for a grandmother who refused to allow us to speak in such a manner. There are only two times when that southern drawl comes out, one when I an speaking with either a southern lady of age, or a super helpful customer service person. Sugar would not melt in my mouth. The other, is if I have gone beyond angry, beyond mad to completely rabid. The best course of action then, is for whomever I’m angry with to run. Don’t hesitate, don’t pass go, don’t stop until you reach the border. In school they tried that speak it out thing with my son. I channeled my grandmother and told him nope, that’s not happening. He would have papers with misspelled words telling me the teacher said it was okay. I told him nope, that’s not acceptable either. Sometimes, I swear schools are not trying to educate kids any more.

    Liked by 1 person

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