“Do What?”

There are many blogs out there in blogland that talk about how much they love the South.  “You know you’re from (fill in any city or geographical area) when” or the “if you understand all of this, then you must be from (again, any city or area)” lists.  While these posts, articles, and lists are mostly true and always make me smile, they are a little over-done.  So instead of an “I love the South” blog today, I’m going to veer in a specific direction.

Today, I was reminded of one thing about the South that I love.  I was at Sonic getting a corn dog and sweet tea for lunch.  (That right there ought to tell you how Southern I am without further explanation.)  I told the girl over the speaker that I wanted ketchup and mustard. Well, I tried, but I got tongue tied and that isn’t exactly what came out.  Her reply was, “do what?”. Now, in the South, “Do what?” is an expression of “I do not understand what you just said, can you repeat it?”  It can also serve as an expression of disbelief.  Instead of “No way!”, “no you didn’t!”, or “shut up!” (all as expressions of disbelief), the speaker says “Do WHAT?!”  See what I’m getting at here?  The way in which “do what?” is articulated determines if the speaker is being genuine or rude.  If said with an arched eyebrow and tilted head, then it is most likely an expression of “I can’t believe you just said that, or I dare you to repeat it” and you might want to rethink your statement and take a step back.  If said in a slack-faced, lazy way “Dew whut?” probably means that the other person totally didn’t understand a word you said or you’ve asked for something so totally rediculous that the person needed to hear it again.  Repeat your statement more slowly and with emphasis on important words.  These two words can say a lot.  I’m pretty sure that I do not say this because I’ve always made it a point NOT to.  I find it very unprofessional and not easily understood outside of Alabama.  However, it tickles me every time I hear someone say it.  It is a TRUE Southern expression just as much as “bless your heart” and “Lawd have mercy.”  It may even be unique to Alabama.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard it anywhere else.

So, as promised, not an “I love the South” blog, but just one thing that I do love about Southern people.

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