Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Whaddya mean, "Smart"?

As I mentioned yesterday on Blog Talk Radio, I was thinking the other day about why I use the phrase "1 smart ____" so much, and that led me to remember where the phrase first came from. 

When I moved to the South, I didn't use the word "smart" all that often. In the North, the word "smart" is not an adjective you use unless you're describing intelligence or something academic. 

One day, when Robert and John were 10 and 12 years old, they were outside with hatchets cutting down a 40-foot tall magnolia tree. As I was watching, I saw my neighbor coming over. She was a very southern lady in her eighties, had always lived here. I was thinking she was going to call Social Services on me for making my boys climb a tree and cut it down!

Well, she came over and talked to the boys, and then she looked at me and said, "Your boys are so smart!" 

I thought, "How does cutting down a tree make my boys smart?" I just could not connect the meaning of "smart" to what my Southern neighbor was saying. Eventually I realized that she was using the word "smart" as an adjective to mean "good!" The neighbor was complimenting the boys on being good to their mother!!!! 

I found in the South people would say "smart" to mean anything positive, a job well done, most of the time with nothing academic attached to it. 

Now, I'm settling in as a Southern lady, and I tell everyone they are "SMART"!

When I say people are smart, I really do mean they can do all things, whether it's chopping down a tree, or studying Latin, or teaching yourself logic and then teaching it to your children the next day. 

And so when I say, "Have one smart day" and that we're searching for intelligent life, I'm just trying to encourage folks and let them know that you too can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. 

You're probably just as brain-damaged as I am and have as many problems and issues as I do, and yet we just can't give up, we have to keep encouraging each other in everything we do, not just academics.

So I really hope you have "one smart day" as you keep on with the hard work of capturing every thought and deed to Christ! You can do it!

~Leigh

1 comment:

Sherry said...

Interesting... I think I've ever heard smart used that way in Texas. Nor have I ever heard my Southern friends from Alabama use it that way. Now I'm curious ('cause I like Southernisms) as to what areas the word is used that way.