Date:         Thu, 26 Jan 1995 00:40:21 EDT
From: gilbertsmith <gsmith@social.chass.ncsu.edu>
Subject:      Home From the Midlands
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <words-l@uga.cc.uga.edu>

I'm home from Nebraska and have to report that my son-in-law, the
father of my new grandson, an authentic speaker of Midlands English,
cannot tell the difference when he hears it between: horse/hoarse;
merry/Mary/marry; and other assorted things that I tried out on him
after reading a study of the English spoken below and above the line
drawn from one corner of South Dakota to another corner of South
Dakota (which corner is which I cant remember).  My daughter, who
does not speak Midlands English, just laughed at me and said "Nobody
says 'hoarse' like you are saying it."  I never.

Their <nanny> has the annoying habit of repeating the last three
words of every thing I say to her.  We had this exchange:

SHE:  Your weather at home was warmer than usual?
I:  Yes, it was warmer than usual.
SHE: (nodding): ...warmer than usual.

I wonder if this is a Midlands trait?  She nearly drove me crazy.  We
were both nodding and talking almost in unison.  She took me to the
airport because my baby daughter was sick.  I was happy to get there.
....get there.

The above message does not mean that my ten day old grandson is
an authentic SOME, but that my son-in-law is.  My 18 month old
grandson jabbers constantly, in long long sentences that only he
understands.  A woman in the store asked me what he said.  I said:
"I don't understand Midlands English."  She looked at me funny, like
I was crazy, then she just walked away, casting a furtive glance over
her shoulder. No sense of humor, those Nebraskans.

A shoe salesman in Dillards, trying to sell me some shoes I didnt
want, said, when I commented that Dillards had just bought out Belk's
or Ivey's in North Carolina, said:  "Oh, we are the New Kid On The
Block in North Carolina."  I replied:  "No, that is Bill Holler."  He
just walked away, putting the shoes back in the box.  Like I said, no
sense of humor.

In the new Mazatlan restaurant, the owner came up to the table and
said to me in authentic Mexican-Nebraskan English:
"Eestheezhurfurshtameer?"  I said "Excuse me?"  And he said
"Eestheezhurfurshtameer?"  My daughter said "Yes" and he encouraged us
to ignore the combination plates, which are Tex-Mex, and choose an
authentic dish from the real Mexico.  I asked my daughter what the
man said.  She said:  "Daddy!  He said, Is this your first time here."
I had not understood a word.  My daughter understands almost
everything everyone says to her.  I had pollo con mole.  It was very
good.  She had Chile Verde, also very good.  Highly recommended
restaurante.  Worth a trip to Lincoln.
--ggs
p.s.:  Nevertheless, my daughter cannot understand the sentences
created by her own son.  Nor can the nanny, but she is not deterred:
she repeats the last few unintelligible words with great
regularity, nodding all the while.  The babe loves it.