Earlier in January, there were several Travel Expos up and down the Valley from McAllen to Port Isabel. Even though the shows were geared toward attracting Winter Texans, there were many permanent residents that attended. Great entertainment and music were offered at every show. Plus, lots of information and freebies were given out. There were exhibitors from cities and states in the U.S., as well as exhibitors from Mexico.
Those shows did not pertain just to travel but to a wide variety of subjects including how to cook and eat healthy, what bank to use for the best interest rates and best service, who to call in an emergency and on and on. The most popular booth at the Harlingen show was the one giving out a free scoop of soft ice cream. Unfortunately, they ran out of chocolate and then out of vanilla before I got my scoop! And how I do love ice cream. Think I’ll go have some right now!
You missed the shows? Don’t worry, they will all be offered again next year, more or less at the same time of the month.
One thing that was noticeable at the shows was the fact that many people were not just picking up literature, but they were asking questions. That' s good! That’s how we learn.
More noticeable was how people talked. Those from Texas seemed to have a different twang to their voice. Do you know how to talk like a Texan? One writer says that Texans are the only people who are able to turn a one syllable word into three syllables.
I’m from Texas and my reaction was “I don't do that.” But, yes, I very definitely do. No wonder it is difficult for an English speaker from another country or state to understand me.
In Texas, we tend to speak slower, add syllables, drop letters and combine two words into one, all the time not even realizing what we are doing. Y'all is very definitely a Texas word that is being picked up all over the United States - they say it even in New York.
During a recent conversation, a lady was overheard saying she was Texan. But something in her voice betrayed her and she was asked where she was born. This lady actually lived most of her childhood in the Bronx before settling in Texas.
According to the book written by T.M. Strong, a Professor of Communications in a Brownsville college, the national verb of Texas is “fixin' to” and that “fixin' to” has three different meanings - It can mean that we intend to do something which unfortunately may never get done; it can also mean that we are contemplating or thinking about something like “fixin’ to decide”. Thirdly, it can be a forewarning such as “I’m fixin' to leave”.
If you want to have a good insight as to how to talk Texans, this author is highly recommended. He has a good sense of humor too, so you will probably have a few laughs as you read about us Texans.
Do other languages have a word similar to “fixin’ to” with the meaning that it may never get done? No doubt there are similar words in other languages.
In Spanish, the word for tomorrow is a good word to know for it can have a double meaning - actually meaning that you will take care of something tomorrow, whenever or maybe never. And tomorrow you can use “I forgot”! It is a useful word so learn to say it pronouncing it like this - mah yah nah. Using that word just might let you off the hook - for a while anyway.
It didn’t work for me. I guess I was just too literal when I first moved to South Texas.
When a boyfriend who had lived in South Texas all his life told me that he would call me tomorrow - using the Spanish word for tomorrow - then I expected that call. It never came - at least not the next day. Now I know that the word really means "When I get around to it”.
Now, that's Texas Talk.