Thursday, January 12, 2006


Yes, I should be working, thank you for pointing that out. I'd rather be writing, though, and no one is stopping me.

Just 2 brief languagy sorts of things that I can't get out of my head.

1. I don't know if this usage happens elsewhere but it's pretty pervasive in stores here in New York. You make a purchase, you hand over your money and it's not small bills or exact change and you get, "You don't have a dollar?" or the equivalent. If I believe the best of people it's meant to mean, "Do you have any smaller bills, ma'am?" But it comes across as, "I know you have a dollar and you're just giving me this mess so I have to do a whole bunch of counting. What do you think I am? A change machine?" I'm fascinated by how this sort of thing comes into common usage. I wish I could think of another example of that sort of evolving urban language but I'm full of chocolate and not firing on all cylinders.

2. I got a CD of Johnny Cash's concert in Folsom Prison for Christmas and I have three or 4 songs from it in the rotation for my commute. The following exchange takes place right before Johnny and June sing Jackson and it makes me smile every time I hear it.

June: I'm glad to be back in Folsom.
Johnny: I love to watch you talk.
June: I'm talkin' with ma's a'way up here!


  1. Kia Ora (Hello) & Happy New Year from a krazy monkey down under in New Zealand. I can't get one of them out of my head either because the first one also happens no matter where you go. As for the second, I haven't got a CD of Mr."Cash", because I never have any spare "Cash" to buy them (hehe)

  2. June was a firecracker. Ma definitely wore the pants.