Tongue Tithed.

Is there a word that just plain annoys you?

My friend and I had a discussion the other day and they confessed (a bit too enthusiastically) that “moist”, “gleaming” and “awesome” are their peeve words. To each their own.

Mine are the overuse and lack of respect from “guys”.  “Hey, guys!” is used by everyone under a certain age for, what once was, ‘ladies and gentlemen’ or ‘folks.’  For me, the all-too-casual ‘guys’ is the language equivalent of nails on a chalkboard.  Another, fast approaching irksome, is the candy-coated “y’all”, especially when used by an otherwise educated person and/or former northerners who have transplanted themselves anywhere south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

Call me jaded but “Really??” flares through my self-talk. “You’re a native New Yorker/New Jersian/Brooklynite. That “y’all” is fake and you know it. Cut the crap, buster.” No mercy, I know.  

Having attended college in the very center of the country, cinched in the heart of the Bible Belt, “y’all” is not unfamiliar to my ear; the span of then-to-now is 30-something years, so it has been a while since that smooshed together vernacular of familiarity and address was commonplace in language I heard daily. Heard daily, not spoke. Now living in Virginia, I would not slur “y’all” the same way I would not volley “youze guys” when I lived in the metro-tri-state north.

My mother in law, RIP, referred to two or more together as “you people.”  This never failed to remind me of angry, annoyed casting directors at cattle calls and group dance auditions. “You people: step ball-change stage right – triple time!!” and the herd would count off ‘5678’ and tap in over-zealous, leotarded herd unison.

Despite a grandfather from Iowa and a grandmother from Little Rock, both of whom attended college, neither said “y’all” – as far as I can reckon.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lorraine says:

    Obviously. You know.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. keithakenny says:

    Perhaps, but regional wording can put a nice spin on meaning … perhaps stressing a listener to determine whether vernacular is a put down or intended as playful humor. My favorite is “God bless your heart,” after hearing something inane. It is a southernism recognizing that the speaker is clueless and could do with a little help. I might say “Y’all come” if I was inviting you and yours to a barbecued spare ribs cookout, and you’d understand that it was intended to be informal friendly. If it was St Patti’s day and we were having you over for corned beef and cabbage, I might warn you that “For sure we’ll be tippin’ a wee bit o’ whiskey this evenin’.

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