Posted by Smokey Stover on October 15, 2006
In Reply to: Sometimes I sits and thinks posted by Hannah on October 15, 2006
: I've recently heard my teacher saying a quotte 'Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits'. I was wondering is it possible to use the -s suffix for the first person singular and in what context? well the teacher insisted that it may be used when the speaker uses it to make a effect on the audience. Unfortunatelly didn't mention what kind of effect, so maybe you could help?
: I would be grateful!
Some pretty sophisticated writers have adopted an unsophisticated style for their message, sometimes with a self-deprecating effect to get the reader in the right mood. One such was Henry David THoreau, author of the quotation you refer to. Thoreau was a sophisticated man, but was willing to speak the common language in a common way to get his point across to common men and women.
Other well-known writers have also used this technique, that is, expressing themselves in unpretentious or colloquial language to give their editorializing the common touch, the best-known of whom may be Will Rogers. It's still a joy to read his observations of American life and politics. (However, I must point out that Rogers does NOT mangle English when he is being folksy.)
Finley Peter Dunne is still remembered for his humorous comments under the name of Mr. Dooley, written in an Irish brogue to sound like a somewhat unsophisticated Irish immigrant. I won't go into Mark Twain, about whom there is just too much to be said.
British literature, too, is full of characters who speak British as it is spoke by those with less education. But the upshot is, admire and chuckle at the wisdom expressed by Thoreau and others in a folksy and even illiterate manner, but do not try to imitate them.