Greg Peck: We don't talk like they do down in Louisiana
If you happen to run into Angela Major and she says something like “I'm going to grab a buggy and make some groceries,” don't look at her like she's from Mars.
She's only from as far away as Louisiana.
Angela is one of two new youngsters toting cameras on The Gazette staff. Our other photographer is Anthony Wahl, who hails from nearby Brodhead.
Angela got acquainted with Wisconsin weather her first day here, heading out on slippery roads to shoot photos of robins coping with a surprise late-season snowstorm.
Anyway, Angela has discovered that some folks talk funny around here. In turn, some people might think she's the one talking funny.
The other day in the newsroom, I overheard Frank Schultz, who used to work on a farm near Green Bay, explain to her how farmers call it “making hay” when they're actually baling hay.
I told him we called it that on my uncles' Dane County farms, as well. We agreed it probably reflects that old-time saying that a farmer must “make hay while the sun shines.”
Angela, in turn, explained that down in her neck of America, people heading out to stock up on food say they're going to “make some groceries.” During a newsroom party last week, she noted that people down South also say they're putting said groceries in a “buggy,” not a shopping cart.
Oh, and when we often call all those big rigs rolling on the Interstate “semis.” Gazette newsroom style, however, demands we write “semitrailer truck,” when the semi tractor is pulling a trailer. Down in Louisiana, Angela said, they typically refer to them as “18-wheelers.” Some folks call 'em that around here, as well, I pointed out.
Likewise, Angela says something is “katty-corner,” and I told her the right term is “kitty-corner.”
I have a relative who always says she's going to “warsh” her clothes, as if the word “wash” contains an “r.” My wife thinks people from Illinois frequently speak like that, and, well, this relative perhaps spent too many years living in the flatlands.
Soda, or pop?
Going nuts or going bananas?
Colloquial expressions vary from region to region across America. Angela left quite a big family behind when she ventured north. But she says she's enjoying getting acquainted with this place we call the Badger State, despite our sometimes funny talk.