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Trying to Talk Texan? Let Your Words Lean Into Each Other

A nice lady wrote to me not long ago and said that she was happy to have a son with a good, solid, two-syllable Texas name. “His name is ‘Ben,’”she wrote. I loved that. We do that, don’t we? Well, many of us do, anyway. There are 30 million Texans so there are many dialects…

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The Queen of King Ranch

When Richard King, the founder of the King Ranch, was on his deathbed, he told his wife, Henrietta Chamberlain King “Don’t let any of that land get away from you.” At the time of his death in 1885, King’s famous ranch consisted of about half a million acres. He had amassed this land on the…

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Dr Pepper: The Story of Texas’ Favorite Soft Drink

My favorite snack as a teenager was a Dr Pepper with salty peanuts. You remember: you pour the peanuts into the Dr Pepper and let them float around and season the drink. Didn’t get much better than that. Dr Pepper is the oldest soft drink in America. Older than Coca-Cola, in fact, by a full…

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The Real Texan Who Inspired Captain Woodrow F. Call

In the mini-series Lonesome Dove, Charles Goodnight was immortalized loosely as Captain Woodrow F. Call, played by Tommy Lee Jones. In truth, Charles Goodnight in real life was even more fascinating than the fictional Woodrow Call. Goodnight, who is the most famous rancher in Texas history, and the most ubiquitous Texan of his time, became…

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The Texan Origins of the Word Maverick

This is a biography of a word. It is about a word that was essentially born in Texas, grew up to achieve success here, and eventually became famous the world over. It has now gone well beyond its modest roots as a simple noun and transformed itself into impressive, symbolic fame as a metaphor. The…

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Words, They are a Changin’

Slang is the working class of words. Carl Sandburg said “slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.” But slang is always changing. For an older guy like me, It’s hard to keep up with. Did you know that “on fleek,” “squad,” and “lit” are on…

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‘You May All Go to Hell’ And 9 More Great Texas Quotes

1. “You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.” Davy Crockett said this angrily after losing his Tennessee bid for the U.S. Congress. I think he really said, “Y’all can go to hell,” but grammatical purity likely corrupted the original transcription. 2. Mary Lasswell, who grew up in Brownsville and wrote…

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The Mysterious Texan and the Ranchers’ Convention

The story goes that there was a convention of landowners – mega farmers and big ranchers – up in Denver. There were four men sittin’ around in the bar there in the fancy resort, enjoying happy hour. Three of them were swappin’ stories about their farms and ranches and generally braggin’ about their land holdings….

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Lowtalkers

Everyone has an accent, especially Texans. But some people also have an extra layer of unique speech: the lowtalkers. They were the inspiration for Typewriter Rodeo’s Sean Petrie as he wrote this week’s poem.

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Texas Standard: May 6, 2016

A fire in Houston takes on statewide significance, raising questions over chemicals stored close to schools. We’ll explore. Also a pipeline that cuts thru one of the most pristine areas of Texas gets the green light…we’ll discuss the implications. A Texas vote tomorrow on services like Uber and Lyft. At stake, not just the rules…

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Three Secrets of Life From My 101-Year-Old Mother

My mom lived to be 101 and five months. She said once you reached 99, you started counting your age like a newborn – in months: 99 and six months, 99 and nine months. She used to advise that if you wanted to live to be a hundred, you should live to be 99 and…

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When You Are a Texan

Many people who move to the Lone Star State often ask “When am I a real Texan?” That was the inspiration for Typewriter Rodeo’s Jodi Egerton as she wrote this week’s poem.

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Listen: 12 More Words Texans Mispronounce

There are three kinds of Texans: those with an accent, those without an accent, and those who don’t think they have an accent, but do. About a year ago, I made a list of the 12 most commonly mispronounced words in Texas. Well, they weren’t absolutely unique to Texas – some were Southernisms, but they…

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The Texas Rancher and the New York Banker

This story comes under the heading of “folklore,” a story that rises up out of the people and migrates and mutates. There is a New York version, a Jewish version, an Italian version, a Southern version and a Texas version, where I believe it originated, but that is likely because I am a Texan. It…

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Gettin’ Real in Texas

Most Texans now live in urban areas but there’s still a big farming and ranching culture in the state. That was Typewriter Rodeo’s David Fruchter’s inspiration this week.

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