This week’s calligraphy challenge was to portray slang or a saying from our past. Having grown up in the North with parents from the South I heard a lot of these growing up, and I hear them where we currently live. It was fun to come up with a short list and put them all together. It was nice to use multiple styles in one piece and stretch my layout skills.

When we moved South I became the family translator. For some reason I could understand what people said when no one else had a clue. Our rule of thumb was not to smile or nod your head unless we all understood what was being said. All too often I would have to step in and serve as interpreter before a commitment was made without a full understanding of what was going on.

It’s funny to hear the slang we speak without even realizing it’s slang. It’s like a private language that only certain people understand. It is a form of inclusion and familiarity. It is a way to add connection and humor into our daily lives. It can also be a huge point of confusion and exclusion. It all depends on how you use it AND how you translate it…if you can translate it.

We can learn a lot about people by the words they choose to use to communicate their ideas. We can also learn a great deal about ourselves in seeing how open we are to learning another person’s language. It takes time to get to know people and understand their ways. Being from somewhere else can be a wall between neighbors until they see who you are and understand what your are saying. Take time today to think about your words and how well they communicate what you want to express, then throw a ‘Ya’ll’ or ‘Fixin’ in there just for fun!

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