Don’t much follow a whole lot’a sports.
Not even the holy grail of NCAA Division I’s SEC – by many, the standard by which all other football teams are judged.
On occasion, however I will watch an Auburn game and make every diligent effort to tune into the Iron Bowl – THE gridiron rivalry to end all rivalries.
And, I confess to rooting for Auburn. Been that way for a long time… rooting for Auburn, that is.
You see, when you quite literally owe your life to Auburn, you know where your priorities are.
Yep, that’s owe my life to ’em, as in I-wouldn’t-be-here-if-it-weren’t-for-Auburn kind of owe my life to ’em.
So, flipping through the pages of the paper today, I happened upon an item that headlined a Crimson Tider. (For you medical folks, I refrained from titre… it’s just not that punny.)
Anyway, the article told about how MRI confirmed that Inside Linebacker Dont’a Hightower suffered ligament damage and would most likely be sidelined for the remainder of the season… for appropriate surgery and recuperative therapy.
I wish him a speedy recovery and the team well.
But what aroused my curiosity more than anything was this fellow’s name: Dont’a.
My fingers have a hard time wrapping around that apostrophe, so it seems. Because almost every time I type it out, I find myself needing to back up and correct.
Just exactly what kind of name is Don’ta… er, I mean Dont’a?
And having never heard the fellow’s name pronounced, I’m unsure of the pronunciation. I mean, is it properly pronounced “dah-n-tay,” “doughnna,” or what?!
Then I thought again, who names their child something like that?
It’s definitely not an American name… at least I couldn’t find it anywhere I searched.
And what does it mean? Names have meaning… at least that’s what we’re taught when we begin learning to speak. We associate a word and sound with something. And eytmologists – that’s not the folks that study bugs, but the folks that study the origin and derivation of words – tell us that most of all language can be traced back to a common tongue.
That got me to thinking.
Dont’a you do that no mo! I’se gwine ta’ whip ‘yer arsicle if’n ya’ do!
The pleasing sounds of the varieties of our Southern dialects continues to amaze me, and hearing the sweet-as-honey sounds, and the tenor twangs of the many voices we’re blessed to have in ‘Bama is a rich cultural hearitage… er, I mean heritage, that rivals any place I’ve ever travelled.
From the mountain foothills of Northern Alabama’s cuCumberland Plateau, to our wiregrass fields and blackbelt forests, to the Mobile Bay’s oysters and shrimp, the vocal tonalities and rhythmic cadences of our speakers all contributes to our state’s mysterious and equally lovely appeal.
As many attest, her greatest appeal is her people.
For example, I’ve rarely ever heard of anyone moving to Alabama that moves out. I guess it’s the adage, ‘You’ve tried the rest, now stay with the best!’
Sure… what state or location doesn’t have their own idiosyncrasies? But we love our idios, to be certain! I mean, we love you, don’t we?
There’s no place like home… there’s no place like home… there’s no place like home.