Say What?

Terms of measurement of all things: time, distance, directions and pretty much everything else make communication easy.  Funny thing is, many of the terms of measurement I grew up hearing were MIA in the textbooks I studied in college.  I couldn’t find the exact definition in my science books for just how far “over yonder” is nor did I locate the precise equation for “As the crow flies.”

“Y’all” or ‘Yall” – the quantifying term used to identify a group of people, yep, couldn’t find the exact number of people this refers to in any textbook although in my personal experience of course, I know it means more than one person up to an unlimited number of people.

“A dab”

“A bit”

“A little”

“Just enough”  – these are all quantifying terms that mean roughly the same thing.  Usually employed when giving a recipe to someone where the listener is merely expected to just know what you mean concerning the amount of whatever ingredient.  From my understanding, actual recipes have exact measurements like a tsp or a tbsp, something precise or even the words “season to taste.”

“Around the bend” – this is a distance/directional term that is literal.  When giving directions, the location or next turn or street is actually after a bend in the road.

Also commonly employed in directions in this area are not street names, sections of a city or buildings.  The only way to give directions to some of the houses on the outskirts of some local areas is to give scenery along a road as methods of telling someone where to turn because either there are no other roads in the relatively desolate area or the roads are all dirt or gravel roads with no visible names only numbers if you’re lucky.

If you’ve ever given directions along the lines of “you’ll go over a creek and a few miles after that you’ll see a horse farm on the right, keep going until the road T’s out, make a left and keep driving past the cornfields…” or if you live in an area where even the GPS has no idea where you are – you might be in my neck of the woods.

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5 thoughts on “Say What?

  1. “you’ll go over a creek and a few miles after that you’ll see a horse farm on the right, keep going until the road T’s out, make a left and keep driving past the cornfields…”

    I think I know where you are talking about, I had a friend that live out that way.

  2. Many languages have a plural “you” form. English lacks that, which can be a tad confusing at times, as in “Hey, you! Yeah, you, you 500 people over there! What are you doing?”

    The familiar Southern “y’all” is a holdover from ye olden times, when English had a plural “you.” It’s a contraction of “ye” and “all,” and is quite proper and useful.

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