The lawn needs mowed.

Perfect! Such economy of words, without wasted thought.

Ted, you sound like Lionel Twain (Truman Capote) admonishing the great Chinese detective Professor Wang (Peter Sellers) in the Neil Simon 1976 movie Murder By Death when he shrieked...

"Listen, you rotund escapee from a fire drill, Say...Your... Damn... ARTICLES!

Or something like that.

Air conditioning, not television, is the reason that most southerners speak poorly today. The south is hot. It is so hot down here that our jaybirds go buck naked and laze under oak trees that sell them shade for ten cents a spot. Down here it is so hot that most southerners became philosophers and poets because the extreme heat and humidity makes it unhealthy to do real work.
Imagine this scene from the fifties...

Two handsome southern gentlemen sit rocking in chairs on the front porch of a weather-beaten farmhouse. Two hours past; then one speaks...

Milo: The lawn needs mowed.

Uncle Dan: (five minutes past.) (Uncle Dan nods.)
(Uncle Dan understands that Milo was simply stating a fact. No where in his statement is an implied "to be". Mowed is used as an adjective of lawn and "needs" is simply a negating form of mowed, and no one is expected to mow any lawn any time - ever.)
An hour passes.

Milo: Dan, best hide the women folk.

Uncle Dan: ( Only two minutes past. Then Uncle Dan nods, and slowly gets up and goes into the house and hides the women folk.)

(In a cloud of dust a 1957 fishtailed Buick pulls up and stops in front of the farm house. A dapper man wearing a white hat and white socks and a shiny green sport coat with matching alligator shoes gets out of the Buick and walks over and asks for a drink of water...unfortunately he forgets himself and asks for the water in Latin and is misunderstood.)

And then he says...

jheem: From toit to tit (French to English), as well as tectum to pectus (Latin). O, non texi ergo peccavi!

Milo: (Shouting) Uncle Dan! Bring yourself here right this minute. This furriner here needs watered. You go and show him the well and stuff him right in!

Uncle Dan was slow but he jumped. He showed jheem the well and stuffed him in. Afterwards Milo and Uncle Dan rode around for a few weeks in jheem's '57 fish-tail Buick until they wrecked it. Then they towed it over to Billy Earl's garage to get it fixed but Billy Earl said it weren't worth fixing.

Jheem? Jheem is fine. After a fashion he climbed out of the well, dumped his wet clothes and, naked as a jaybird, he walked over to Massey's General Store and bought himself some nice appropriate duds and joined the Free-will Baptist Church. Never again did jheem ( who now pronounces his name gee-uh-UM like they do down south) ever speak devil talk when in the company of the good citizenry of the ignorant South.

___________________________________________ The End