Extraneous words, north and south.

In the South, the extraneous “at”.

I love regional variations in language. Being from Virginia, I’m most familiar with the alternate uses and abuses of language in the south. I use quite a few of them.

There is one, however, that I simply can’t wrap my mind around. (“Around where I can’t wrap my mind,” for the Grammar Police.)

When someone wants to know where you are located, they don’t ask, “Where are you?” They ask:

Where are you at?

 

“Where are you at?

At?  Huh? “Where are you?” isn’t sufficient?


In the north, the extraneous use of two “ones.”

I thought the addition of extraneous words to common phrases was a southern phenomenon until I visited a friend in Mississauga, Ontario.

Marian was very well-spoken, and unlike me, pronounced the consonants at the end of words. Never in my life did I expect her to utter anything less than standard English. I was shocked into silence when, while shopping, she asked:

These ones or those ones?

 

“Which do you like better? These ones or those ones?”

My jaw dropped. I made a fish face. Ones?  Two of them?  Surely this wasn’t the person that I knew saying that.

I have since heard people from upstate New York use the same expression.  I would understand, “These or those?” or “These [insert plural noun of your choice] or those [plural noun]?” But both? Huh-uh.


Why do people add words to a sentence when they aren’t necessary??

Alien Identification Methodology
Word overgrowth defense or alien identification methodology?

I have two theories.

This one: In the south there are too many unused “ats” (and in the north, too many “ones”) wandering around. They have to be used up lest we be overcome by them.

That one: Regional misuses help the natives identify the interlopers.


I have to admit that though I claim a southern heritage, I do not, nor have I ever, asked anyone where they are at.

But one day I saw a sign in Target that displayed two styles or sandals. No one was more surprised that I when I spied the sandals on the rack and blurted,

“Look! They have these ones and those ones!”

Egad.

Don’t waste perfect good words. Use the opposites of words without opposites.

I noticed them before I knew what they were called – “unpaired words”, or words without opposites. In most cases, these words do have opposites; it’s just that those opposites aren’t considered “real” words.

Since language is used, mangled, and made up on a regular basis, I’m taking the stance that since these words do have opposites, I’m going to use them whether other people think they are words or not.

The opposite of disgruntled MUST be gruntled.I’ve been disgruntled – fed up, angry, and resentful. When I get over it, I’m gruntled.

I can be profoundly inert – lethargic and inactive. When I get all rested and become active, I’m ert.

When I wake up in the morning, I look pretty unkempt. After I take a shower, fix my hair, and put on clean clothes, I’d say I was kempt.

I know people who are feckless – good for nothing, irresponsible. If they change their ways, develop initiative, and become responsible, then I would describe them as feckful.

If a person is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable – uncouth – then a person who is polite and behaves in a socially acceptable way is couth.

Take a stand.

Join me in preventing the neglect of these perfectly good words!

A Rorschach test for the 21st century.

Do you remember the old Rorschach test with the inkblots? A psychologist interpreted the patient’s responses and arrived at a diagnosis. But now? That’s so 20th century.

While carrying on a text conversation about tattoos, a friend texted me a photo of a grease burn “tattoo” she got on her wrist. When I saw it, I immediately messaged back what I thought the wound looked like.

Before I reveal my answer….

What do you see?

What do you see?

What do you see?

Try it in black and white.

What did I see?

Whale Fart!

“A whale fart!”

“Oh, cool! Love it!”

“Don’t you feel better about that now?”

“I do! It’s so…me!”

“I thought so. Well done!”

“Well, I’m all about being creative.”

A little while later, I asked her if she’d told her husband about her whale fart tattoo.

“I did. He thinks we’re both nuts.”

And thereby we established the diagnostic value of the 21st century version of the Rorschach test.

Apparently I talk in my sleep.

Woman talking in her sleepOr so I’m told. I rarely hear myself or remember what I said. And usually anyone who hears me can’t make sense of what I say.

But one morning I woke up and was told that in the early hours of that Saturday morning I had said, while very much asleep, but very clearly:

“That’s just like my relatives – just a packet of miscellaneouses.”

First, I was relieved that I hadn’t said anything incriminating.

Then I asked myself, “What are ‘miscellaneouses’? And how many fit into a packet, anyway?”

But is my family “a packet of miscellaneouses”? Well, you could say that. 🙂

What to do if you have bears in your yard.

Canadian BearSituation: You need to go to work, but there are bears in your yard.

Option 1: Shoot them.

Option 2: Call Wildlife Control.

Option 3: Ask them to leave.

Extra Credit: Thank them and wish them a good day.

On knights, rubber ducks, and planning ahead.

An observation by British comedian, actor, writer and television presenter Michael Palin:

"You can't get a suit of armour and a rubber chicken just like that. You have to plan ahead." - Michael Palin

It’s true. I tried. It’s not like running down to the convenience store to buy a soda and a candy bar.

Need a paddle?

If you’re up Shit Creek without a paddle,
I hope you’re near one of these:

Shit Creek Paddle Store

Shit Creek Paddle Stores

Who knew?

Mystery at an Alabama truck stop.

I was sitting in a McDonald’s at a truck stop in Alabama, when this pickup truck pulled in. The driver parked it outside my window and got out.

The Smoking Truck

He shut the door, lit a cigarette, stuck the butt end of the burning cigarette into the driver’s side door lock, and walked off.

The Smoking Truck

Why?

Inquiring minds want to know.

The importance of editing for clarity.

From an “About the Writer of this Blog” page:

Editing for clarity

Click to view a larger, more legible image.

“This blog was begun in October of 2008 at Blogspot and much of it remains at xxxxxxxxxxxx.blogspot.com. However, in early 2017 all posts (nearly1,400 [sic] of them) were erased, making this WordPress move necessary.”

— The Writer of this Blog

Here's Your Brain

Because not editing for clarity may result in contradictory sentences and a confusing sequence of words.

Just in case you missed it, “much of [the blog] remains,” yet “all posts were erased.”

“And what would be left?” we ask ourselves.

Want to have some fun in the grocery store checkout line?

Mischief in the Grocery Story

Feeling a little mischievous?

The next time you’re at the grocery store and have both food and toilet paper in your cart, ask the checkout clerk…

“Is this the right amount of toilet paper for this amount of food?”

Cats Eating
You can also use this when you’re buying cat food and kitty litter, with the appropriate change in language, of course.

If you’re lucky, you’ll have a grocery store clerk with a sense of humor.