I had a friendly bet with Barb Knowles on the AFC Championship game. The loser had to do a post about the winner’s blog. But, I like her blog “saneteachers” so much that I am going to post about it even though I didn’t lose.
They don’t speak New York in Ohio. They speak Ohio in Ohio. Of course, to me it sounded more like Ahia.
As a lifelong Ohio resident–I grew up about a half-hour from Ohio Wesleyan’s campus–I know what she means. Non-Ohioans have frequently pointed out that central Ohioans sound like this when listing our home country, city and state:
I’m ‘Merican, from C’lumbus, Ahia.
but then again, they might be from a place a little way east of Columbus: Newark, which is pronounced something close to “Nerk”.
I took a linguistics class in college where we had to do an assignment on regional dialect differences. For instance, when informally addressing a group of people, Southerners would say “you all” (often rendered as “y’all”) whereas Midwesterners say “you guys”.
That of course was small potatoes next to the big dialect difference: what do you call those glowing insects we get in the summer–fireflies or lightning bugs?
In her post, Barb also mentions the age-old debate of “soda” vs. “pop”. (Some also call them “soft drinks” or “fizzy drinks”.) This one I missed, because in my family we called the drinks by their brand name, but I remember the first time I heard someone call it “pop” I was puzzled.
I’d also never heard of the confusion over “bag” and “sack” that she describes–I’ve always heard both used interchangeably. With the prevalence of television regional dialects have declined over time–maybe that’s the reason. I also never heard “rubber” for “rubber band”. I shudder to think at the mix-ups that could cause.
I once got into an argument with two of my friends–both of whom are also native Ohioans–about whether you call this a “flathead” or a “slotted” screwdriver. (It’s “slotted”. Don’t let my evil friends tell you otherwise.) I don’t know if this is a generational or regional thing, but it was interesting.
I’m lucky in that I have relatives all over the country, so I get to hear a lot of different regionalisms. Even if it does cause some confusion sometimes…
Anyway, you guys–and you all–should check out Barb’s blog. She’s a terrific writer, and has some very witty observations. I wouldn’t have made my bet with her if I didn’t think so–and the fun of a bet like this is that everyone wins.