Was John Wayne Right?

Naughty_Felid

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#1
Do Americans use the term "Texicans" to describe people from Texas? John Wayne used to use the term. Also "Missora" when talking about Missouri. Ive always wondered if its used or just a John Wayne thing.

Edit: Also "Comanch" to describe the Comanche.
 
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Austin Popper

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#2
Well John Wayne was right, alright; far right.

Texicans rather powerfully locates Wayne's character socially and geographically. I suspect it is probably something from the book, as I haven't read it even though it was written by Charles Portis, the creator of the Austin Popper character in one of his other books, Masters of Atlantis which I enthusiastically recommend. I've read it twice and will probably read it again before too long. If you like deadpan humor, Portis delivers.

Anyway, I think the word Texicans ain't very nice. It's meant (I infer) as an insult to Texans. I should look it up. I've read three of Portis's novels, but I'm saving the other two so I don't use them up. I also have the Coen Brothers movie True Grit stashed away, for the same reason. Being a fan of Portis, Jeff Bridges, and the Coens it seems I'm hoarding it. I dunno. That movie is said to follow the book closely, being set in Arkansas and everything. The John Wayne classic was shot in Southwestern Colorado, which though gorgeous is not much like Arkansas. I suspect the producers of that movie decided they'd rather work out in the sticks somewhere near Telluride. The ranch seen in the opening scene is still there and looks about the same. It was for sale, last I knew, for silly money.

Missourah is very commonly heard in Missourah and surrounding states. I heard my father pronounce it that way last Thanksgiving, in fact. I don't hear it pronounced that way out here in Colorado. Some of those dialectical delicacies seem pretty jarring when you haven't heard them in a while. One time at a Christmas party, my wife sat politely as I had a conversation with a co-worker who grew up deep in the Ozarks. After the fellow moved on, my wife leaned over and said, "I didn't understand a word he said." She weren't from around them parts.
 

EnolaGaia

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#3
Do Americans use the term "Texicans" to describe people from Texas? ...
At the time of the war for independence from Mexico, Texas residents of Hispanic heritage were typically called Tejanos. Anglo residents were variously called Texians, Texicans, and other related names. At that time 'Texians' seems to have been the most common term, and it is the term reflected in the new nation's official records. When Texas became a US state the term 'Texan' became the norm.

Nowadays the term 'Texican' is usually used to connote Texans of Hispanic heritage.
 

Austin Popper

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#4
Interesting stuff, Enola. Thanks.

As I recall, in True Grit Wayne's character (I really should look this stuff up bit it's Friday evening and I'm tarred) used the term in obvious derision when referring to Glen Campbell's character. Campbell's character was quite obnoxious. I thought he played it well, but it seems I'm in the minority. He was a huge star at the time, but I think it was his first movie role.

It's Friday, I'm old an tarred, so I could be completely full of shit. I think I need another beer.
 

EnolaGaia

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#6
Lord knows! I've only just realised that when people say "Arkansaw" they mean the US state of Arkansas. Does anyone know why? I've spent years thinking they were two entirely different places.
'ARK-kan-saw' is the official pronunciation of the state's name, formally prescribed in the 1880's following a long period of confusion and variant pronunciations. Prior to statehood, the area was incorporated as the 'Territory of Arkansaw'.
 
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#7
Do Americans use the term "Texicans" to describe people from Texas? John Wayne used to use the term. Also "Missora" when talking about Missouri. Ive always wondered if its used or just a John Wayne thing.

Edit: Also "Comanch" to describe the Comanche.
And 'war hero' to describe 'draft dodger'. Audie Murphy could have beat the shit out of him - so too Jimmy Stewart, and Henry Fonda, and Paul Newman... I often wonder how genuine veterans felt acting next to a stay-at-home blowhard who made a career out of celluloid stolen valour.
 

cycleboy2

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#8
And 'war hero' to describe 'draft dodger'. Audie Murphy could have beat the shit out of him - so too Jimmy Stewart, and Henry Fonda, and Paul Newman... I often wonder how genuine veterans felt acting next to a stay-at-home blowhard who made a career out of celluloid stolen valour.
James Stewart actually got turned down for being too light when he first applied to enlist. Once fattened up he was initially kept Stateside - commanding officers afraid it would look bad if he died on duty - but then used influence so he could fly bombers over Germany. How very unlike Wayne and Donald Trump; Brigadier General Jimmy Stewart even flew in the Vietnam war - by choice!

http://www.historynet.com/mr-stewart-goes-to-vietnam.htm
 

AnonyJoolz

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#9
'ARK-kan-saw' is the official pronunciation of the state's name, formally prescribed in the 1880's following a long period of confusion and variant pronunciations. Prior to statehood, the area was incorporated as the 'Territory of Arkansaw'.
Thank you for the info :) one more personal mini-mystery solved.
 

Austin Popper

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#10
Just to keep from being too rational, apparently, the name of the town along the Arkinsaw River in southern Kansas is pronounced Are Kansas City.

People in Arkansas City, Arkansas don't seem to have this problem.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkansas_City,_Kansas

I happen to be sitting a few blocks from the Arkansas River, where it is a cold, clear mountain stream inhabited by rainbow trout. Yum.
 

EnolaGaia

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#11
... I don't hear it pronounced that way out here in Colorado. ...
Speaking of which ...

I can recall hearing some folks consistently pronounce 'Colorado' as 'Col-o-RAhD-ah' rather than 'Col-o-RAhD-oh'. Like the variant pronunciations of 'Missouri', I was never able to pin down any clear correlation with dialect, speaker's location, etc.
 

Ermintruder

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#12
Like the variant pronunciations of 'Missouri', I was never able to pin down any clear correlation with dialect, speaker's location, etc
I'd always assumed (based upon unreliable personal remembrings of silver-screen representations of The War Between The States) that Confederates would tend to pronounce the varigated state name-endings with an "Ah", (regardless of spelling) whereas the Union forces seemed (to me) to say them as they were spelt. So, Missourah versus Missouri. This shaky claim is far from exact in either its substance or rendition here, but I make it, nevertheless.
 

Austin Popper

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#13
Speaking of which ...

I can recall hearing some folks consistently pronounce 'Colorado' as 'Col-o-RAhD-ah' rather than 'Col-o-RAhD-oh'. Like the variant pronunciations of 'Missouri', I was never able to pin down any clear correlation with dialect, speaker's location, etc.
I've heard that too. Seems like in my experience, it would be from people who pronounce Missouri as Mizzurrah.

Not far from here is the town of Buena Vista. The locals have long pronounced it Byoonuh Vista or just Byoonie. Mrs. Popper finds it revolting. For me it's just annoying. We both tend to use another name for the place that's popular around here. We just say BV. If I do say the whole name, I make a point of pronouncing it correctly, or at least as close to the native Spanish as I can.
 

Austin Popper

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#14
I'd always assumed (based upon unreliable personal remembrings of silver-screen representations of The War Between The States) that Confederates would tend to pronounce the varigated state name-endings with an "Ah", (regardless of spelling) whereas the Union forces seemed (to me) to say them as they were spelt. So, Missourah versus Missouri. This shaky claim is far from exact in either its substance or rendition here, but I make it, nevertheless.
As generalizations go, that's not a terrible one. Yankees, like Mrs Popper, tend to be more precise or a bit sharper with the vowels, but out here in the west that north-south difference doesn't hold true as often as in the east. Far northern dialects and accents can be every bit as idiosyncratic as anywhere else.

One time I did a bus tour up into Canada with another driver who had a very thick backwoods drawl. He knew a place where we could get our buses serviced, so we went down to the Grey Goose depot in Winnipeg. While our buses were being taken care of, various people moseyed out of the offices to hear us talk. They thought we were hilarious, especially the other driver. Of course, they had their own way of talking that sounded odd to us, eh?
 

Naughty_Felid

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#15
And 'war hero' to describe 'draft dodger'. Audie Murphy could have beat the shit out of him - so too Jimmy Stewart, and Henry Fonda, and Paul Newman... I often wonder how genuine veterans felt acting next to a stay-at-home blowhard who made a career out of celluloid stolen valour.
I'm no fan of JW's politics but think he was a great actor. It's never quite black and white as to whether he was draft dodger or not. I think the point that Stewart et al had built up enough "star power", (which Wayne lacked), to override a studio's concern that their star might be Killed is pretty important. He was just breaking into stardom during the war years whereas Stewart had already made "Destry Rides Again" and "Mr Smith Goes to Washington" and "The Philadelphia Story" before enlisting. Fonda was earning it was thought around 2.3 million in today's money and already had a Oscar nomination under his belt when he enlisted. Wayne was nowhere near that and had 4 kids to feed. It was well know that he had a fear of not being able to provide for his kids due to his own families financial troubles when he was growing up.

There's evidence to suggest he did try and enlist but due to deferment was declined. There was evidence to suggest physically he might of not been up for it due to his previous football and stunt career, it is also well documented that he regretted not serving the rest of his life.

Also he applied to join the The US Navel Academy as a teenager but was rejected. If he'd got in he may well have served during the war and we'd probably never heard of him. As for personal courage his footballing years, work as a stuntman and the fact that he got into more than one punch up suggests he didn't lack it.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wayne

https://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1055/was-john-wayne-a-draft-dodger/

https://variety.com/1979/film/news/john-wayne-72-dies-of-cancer-1201343873/
 
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Lb8535

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#16
As generalizations go, that's not a terrible one. Yankees, like Mrs Popper, tend to be more precise or a bit sharper with the vowels, but out here in the west that north-south difference doesn't hold true as often as in the east. Far northern dialects and accents can be every bit as idiosyncratic as anywhere else.

One time I did a bus tour up into Canada with another driver who had a very thick backwoods drawl. He knew a place where we could get our buses serviced, so we went down to the Grey Goose depot in Winnipeg. While our buses were being taken care of, various people moseyed out of the offices to hear us talk. They thought we were hilarious, especially the other driver. Of course, they had their own way of talking that sounded odd to us, eh?
It's continuous confusion in the US. The original native American langages, overlaid by 17th century English, French and German, and impatience with non-English, makes it necessary to ask a native to pronounce many places. Des Moines (D'moyne), the Jimez (Haymass). Louisiana (Leesiana), Albuquerque (albakerkee), Nevada (Nevehda). The last item was the subject of I believe a NYTimes article on how many presidential votes in Nevada hinged on whether the candidate pronounced the state name correctly. Without even discussing the Canadians.
 
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