Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Minnesotans Are Screwballs

When I was growing up, my mother went back to school to complete an undergraduate degree in English. This resulted in her constant need to correct the English of my sister and me, which in turn resulted in a constant need from a nine-year-old me to correct the English of everyone else.

I didn’t realize until I was much older that such an activity might be deemed annoying. So while I am constantly correcting your English in my head, I’ve learned to mostly keep it to myself.

But English is a funny thing in that it can be completely different depending on where you live. I grew up in Colorado, where of course the dialect is Correct and Right. I now live in Minnesota, where the dialect is All Wrong. (Recognize facetiousness, people.)

Like I did when I was younger, I used to constantly point out to native Minnesotans the err of their ways, until I recognized (and I was quicker on the up-keep this time) that such an activity was again deemed annoying. Ahem.

But right now, I want to stand on my high horse and point out for you what is All Wrong about the upper Midwest dialect.

Pop: This is not something that you drink. “Pop” is a sound, like, when I’m having way too much fun with bubble wrap making all those popping noises. If it’s a fizzy beverage I am after, I’ll be looking for a Soda.

Words ending in ‘AG’: Let me make this clear, “Bag” is not spelled “Bey-g” and therefore should not be pronounced as such. The letter A is only pronounced “ey” in a circumstance like “I have a ball.” Or maybe in the word Bay. I’m sure there are some others. But otherwise, if you have a word with ‘ag’ in it, it is pronounced AH! Ah. Ah. Ah.

Karaoke: This word is pronounced (at least in 49 of 50 U.S. States) as Care-E-Okey. In Minnesota, it comes out like Ker-O-Kee, which is just plain weird. Sounds like croak or something, which is a really odd visual to have when you’re talking about singing badly. The first time my husband (a native Minnesotan) said Ker-O-Kee to me, I literally had no idea what he was talking about.

• I’m not even getting into the elongated O’s. Mostly because I find myself using them. SHUT UP.

You Betcha: This is a common misconception. Minnesota thinks it has the market cornered on “You Betcha,” but I actually disagree. I’m pretty sure the rest of the country uses this term just as much, and honestly, I don’t hear it all that often. Dontcha know.

Borrow You: As in, “I’m going to borrow you my CD collection.” I hear this all the time, and it drives. me. crazy. The term you are looking for, Minnesota, is LOAN. You will LOAN me your CD collection, and I will BORROW it from you.

Hotdish: Do you know how long I went wondering what on earth a hot dish is? A dish that just came out of the oven? No. Oh! It’s a casserole! (Also, last time I checked, casserole rarely comes with tater tots, but if I’m being honest, it’s somewhat delicious.)

Uff-ta: I said uff-ta before I moved to Minnesota. It doesn’t count. Color me crazy.

Duck, Duck…Grey Duck: What on earth is that? Seriously, Minnesota. It’s duck, duck, GOOSE. Why would you say grey duck anyway? Isn’t a grey duck just another duck? How about next time I play “white duck, brown duck, grey duck” and see how confused you get?

And Minnesota? Don’t take offense. You know I love you.


AVM said...

This post is HILARIOUS. I have cousins who moved from Long Island, NY (Lawn Guyland) to Minnesota. I cannot even explain the crazy mixed accent they have these days. It's wild!