1. Any other language nerds out there? I’ve been super duper interested in language since high school, so when these maps started floating around Facebook (and now BuzzFeed) last week, I accepted right then and there that I was going to lose a solid half day of work to studying them. If you’re in any way interested in dialect and how people use language around the United States, I highly recommend checking out the maps for yourself, but some personal highlights for me:
In unsurprising news, most people in Chicago call that kind of public transportation the El/L. To be honest, I don’t think I’d call it the L anywhere but Chicago, though. If I were in DC or New York, for example, I’d probably call it the subway, or maybe the train, which is actually how I generally refer to the El in Chicago anyway.
I’ve been pronouncing “been” like the name “Ben” all my life, and I wasn’t aware that that wasn’t standard?
Hell. You call those traffic situations hell.
Although, interestingly, I’ve always called them a roundabout, even though regionally I apparently should be calling them traffic circles. I’m wondering if this is because my dad, who was raised in Seattle, was the person in my family most likely to talk about these traffic situations, and if that influenced how I talk about them.
This one fascinated me. I’m sure I’ve been saying, “Are you coming with?” since high school or middle school, but according to the map that’s not convention in Michigan, where I spent my middle and high school years.
And then this one was really cool to me because just two or three weeks ago, my roommate, a native of New Orleans currently working in a bakery, asked me what I would call a pie made with nuts, and I said, “PEE-kahn pie” (because I apparently am secretly from northern Wisconsin?). She found this fascinating, because as far as she was concerned, it was a “pick-AHN pie,” and this must have caused some confusion at the bakery.
2. You know what life lesson I learned over the past week? There is no greater skill to have as a working adult than the ability to write a finely crafted professionally angry e-mail. Those things get stuff done, man. It’s got to be just right, though. Too angry? You make people mad. Too professional? Depending on the situation, you either turn people off or don’t get your point across. But once you find that balance between professional and angry, holy SMOKES do things start happening! It’s incredible!
3. Am I the only one who feels like there are about 234,523,385,523,324 must-do summer bucket lists this year? I feel like every website I encounter has a list of 25/30/60 (?! Come on, BuzzFeed! Who do you think I am?!) things I HAVE TO DO this summer to make the most of the season. I didn’t realize how much this was getting to me until Tuesday when I found myself thinking, “Crap, I didn’t go to Downtown Sound last night, and I haven’t really made it to any street fests yet, and I definitely haven’t been to the beach once this season. I’ve wasted my entire summer!”
For one thing, no. There’s still plenty of summer to be had, so I really don’t think I’ve wasted my entire summer, or even most of my summer. For another thing, why do people seem to so strongly believe life is only worth living in the summer? Yeah, it’s cold during the not-summer, so you might not be as likely to do things outside/there might not be as many outside activities to do, but all of this, “Chicago summers make up for Chicago winters!” business irks me. Personally, I think Chicago is awesome during the whole year. But then again, I also enjoy cold weather.
Any regionalisms particular to your area that you did or did not know about?
Do you have a summer bucket list?