Dialect Debates – You Call That A What?!
|Photo Courtesy of Mykl Roventine.
Flickr, Creative Commons.
Leaving Walmart yesterday I decided to write about people who happily peruse a store for 2 hours but, after unpacking their purchases into the back of their Lexus SUV, abruptly become incapable of walking 10 feet to return their grocery basket to the designated area of the parking lot. This sudden onset of disability leaves them with no choice but to roll their basket into the middle of the driving area so the West Texas wind can launch it like a rocket into an unsuspecting vehicle while it’s owner is on aisle 6 weighing the pros and cons white versus wheat.
When I sat down with my Venti Caramel Frappucino (what? I’m celebrating the fact that the high is 93°F today. Don’t judge me.) to confess my hatred of lazy mega-store shoppers, it suddenly occurred to me that I couldn’t write about baskets being carelessly left around parking lots, because only about three people reading my blog would have any clue what the heck I was talking about.
I grew up calling those things you roll around at the grocery store full of bread and baked beans, “baskets.”
Then, I met my husband (well, I mean, obviously he wasn’t my husband when I met him…but I think you probably know what I mean). The first time we went grocery shopping together he said something along the lines of “Do you think we need a buggy?”
|Photo Courtesy of Mike Cline.
Flickr, Creative Commons.
Um, excuse me?
Did you just call that thing over there with four wheels a…buggy?
No, actually those are just called small baskets…or…baskets you carry…or baskets that have handles…or baskets without wheels…or something.
To prove my word was correct, I decided to conduct some very formal research* comparing words used to describe
grocery baskets buggies those things with four wheels that you push around when you finally break down and brave the aisles of your local supermarket because, if you have to eat frozen peas or dry pasta or whatever is left in the pantry for one more meal, you just. might. die.
The consensus? We’re both weird.
Several people answered with “basket,” unfortunately every last one of them were from my hometown. A few people said “buggy,” (ahahahaha….that is such a strange word) but all of those responses except one, which came from Sally in Alaska, were from people in East Texas.
The vast majority of responses? Cart.
Well, okay then.
If you people want to be boring and uninventive, you can call your baskets a “cart.” I obviously take more pride in having a extended vocabulary than you do.
Here are a couple of mine:
- I grew up using “fixing to” in the place of “about to.” Ex. “I’m fixing to go study.” I had no idea this wasn’t what everyone said until I was in college.
- When I was younger my mom would say “oh, you’re trying to get sick.” Not like a literal “you bratty child, stop licking the concrete in attempt to catch something so you can miss school” way, but in more of a “your body doesn’t seem to be doing such a great job fighting this off – looks like you may come down with something” way. When I told my college roommate I “was trying to get sick” she took it very literally…then made fun of me.
*”Quantitative Investigation of Words Used For Rolling Things At Grocery Stores: A Retrospective Analysis.” Jones, et al. Sources – Twitter. Text Messages. Facebook.
Other Posts You May Enjoy:
7 Comments + Add Comment
Leave a comment
Trackback URL Link:
I’m an Ob/Gyn resident (that means I went to medical school to become a doctor) and now I'm working like a crazy person to learn my trade before I'm on my own in the wild. Once upon a time I birthed a couple of babies of my own, they're friggin' adorable twin toddlers now. My life story through November 2010 can be viewed here. The events in the many years following can be summed up as wedding bells, books, exams, babies, and doctoring. I only started this blog in hopes of landing a role in a Lifetime movie so I could quit medicine and move to Hollywood, so if you wouldn't take medical advice from Angelina Jolie, you shouldn't take it from me. I may not even be a real person. In fact, I'm probably a spambot. Or possibly a 15 yo boy blogging from a dingy basement. If you're really interested you can read more about me here. If you have any questions or want to guest post contact me.