Friday, July 27, 2007

Yinz-ers, y'all-ers, and youse guys!

Living in a tourist area is a totally different experience from what I'm used to! Back home, we'd get the Canadians, eh! You with me, hoser?! And, it was fun at times. We had the Pennsylvania Dutch who use basically the same words, but emphasize different syllables than we do. And, of course, we'd have "Pittsburgh-ese!" A language all it's own! You could make a college level course out of it, and it alone!

Jumbo (bologna), Sah-Side (The South Side), Jynte Eagle (Giant Egle Supermarkets), Jeet Jet (did you eat yet?) Nah dju? (no, did you?), and I'm gowin' dahn-tahn, fer cryin' aht lahd! ( I'm going downtown, for crying out loud!) are just a few that come to mind.

Do I miss it? Heck yes! Nothing quite like a well-done, naturally-acquired Pittsburgh accent.

So, Living in Gettysburg cracks me up! We get the New Yorkers (fuggitaboudit!), who ask how youse guys doin'? We get those from eastern PA who drink soda instead of pop. We got New Englanders, especially people from Baaahstaaahn!, And, we get every variety of southern accent imaginable. I used to think that there was one southern accent. Boy, was I wrong. There's the "Tidewater", the "Piedmont", the "Deep South", the "Alabama" (thought Alabama was in the deep south?), and the "Tennessee", just to name a few (don't be offended if I left your's out!) Together, the variety of people and dialects is quite amusing, and it keeps me entertained. I try to guess where people are from by the way they speak, and more often than not, I'm right. I'm learnin'!

But, throughout the individual southern accents, there is one distinctive word in common - "Y'all!" (who's plural version is "All Y'all!). People hear it and know it!

When you hear someone say "youse", you know it! Which begs the question...why does no one know what "Yinz" means? It's the same thing! I use it once in awhile, and people look at me like I've lost it. I tell my staff all the time "Yinz guys and gals rock!" Should be simple. Should be straightforward, yet they ask "What does 'Yinz' mean, again?"

If they can force our kids to learn Spanish in public schools, why can't we teach people what "Yinz!" means?, fer cryin' aht lahd!
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