Do You Still Have to Correct Kentucky Stereotypes to Out-of-State Friends?
It's been a long time since friends I have from up North referred to any of the more common and tiresome stereotypes about Kentuckians.
But within the last couple of days, they've reared their heads once again.
So I set someone straight, in a very nice way.
And let's begin with the whole barefoot thing. THAT one, thankfully, hasn't popped up in a conversation in a very long time. It's likely gone.
But there are other, far less derogatory stereotypes that are, actually, kind of fun or amusing.
For example, I had to tell these folks that, no, the grass isn't really blue. But the species of grass known as "bluegrass" begins, in the spring, with bluish buds.
If you see a field of it, sure, it looks blue.
Also, not everyone raises horses, nor do they proliferate throughout the Commonwealth the way they do in actual "horse country," which is the central-ish part of the state.
Oh, we love our horses. And, in fact, I have a few close friends who DO raise them and ride them with great frequency.
But, again, horse country sort of branches out from Lexington until to comes to its various end points.
Also, these folks I ran into asked me why I didn't have a southern accent, and I told them that I really do. And my friends who live in Cleveland will absolutely attest to that fact.
But when I'm on the air, it does become more of what an old college professor of mine used to call "general American" because it's accent-free.
And not everyone in country DOES have a southern accent. I believe you'll actually be hard-pressed to come by one in, say, Louisville, Lexington, or the Covington/Newport area which is really a Cincinnati suburb.
And since Louisville came up in conversation, I asked them to pronounce it for me and, sure enough, they said, "LOO-ee-vill."
And I was asked, "Well, isn't that correct?" to which I answered, "Of course...if you're not from here."
If you're FROM here, of course, it's "LOO-uh-vull."
And the word on THAT is getting out. California native and ESPN announcer/analyst Jay Bilas now says "LOO-uh-vull" when he calls Cardinal games.
It was a fun conversation.
(Oh, and I don't know all the words to "My Old Kentucky Home." That came up, too.)