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We missed Francis X. Clines ruminations on accents when it appeared in the New York Times in late August. Clines used to cover Appalachia for the newspaper and he writes here in favor of accents. “People’s spoken language should go unmolested,” says Dr. Kirk Hazen, a West Virginia linguist. 

It isn’t, however, and Hazen notes that the region has been invaded by “like.” (I’m, like, not believin’ it.) And it is losing the “a” prefix — as in, “I’m a-going to the store.”

Clines remembers hearing about “cricks” and “young uns” and going to some place “tomorry.” All this regional difference is applauded by Hazen, who said, “I’m hear to tell you that your language is working fine.”

Like, wow! 

• The best coverage of the continuing egg controversy can be found in the Des Moines Register. Philip Brash reports this morning that large egg buyers, like Costco, are considering their own rules for producers (given the failure of federal inspections). 

• DTN editor Urban Lehner writes about the defunct National Animal Identification System, the dreaded NAIS that drew protests from all over rural America. Lehner writes that there is still a need for some kind of tracking system, one that gets to the source of an outbreak fast.

He writes: “The problem, in a word, is speed. In the wake of 9/11, the Pentagon did a war game to test what would happen if foot-and-mouth disease were introduced into the American herd. The results were frightening.

“They showed that if the disease isn’t traced back to the source and proper steps taken within 48 hours, it quickly spins out of control. In day one cattle in five states have been exposed. In less than a month nearly 50 million animals must be destroyed. Forty-eight hours is the difference between destroying millions of animals and tens of millions of animals.” 

• Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has begun an inquiry into the marketing practices of Monsanto and its Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean. He has asked the company to show that the seed produces higher yields. 

•The problem with eggs isn’t with typical farmers, writes New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, “It’s these industrial operations that turn farms into meat factories.” 

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