Friday, June 3, 2011

Mutterings of Mine

I do not think of myself as an academic nor am I a grammarian.  I also don't think of myself as a verbal slouch despite what may or may not have been less than beaming score on my GRE's.  Recently though I am starting to second guess this second assumption.  When Arielle was living with us she would point out the colloquial phrases that I used, since as a foreigner -read not born and raised Pennsylvania Dutch- she could hear them more readily.  The one the she pointed out as most frequent and one I loathed was the superfluous "awhile's"  being added onto the ends of sentences.  For instance, "Why don't you go make your bed, awhile."  or "Start getting in the car awhile."  As with any great vice I asked her to point it out because more often than not it wasn't even registering on my radar. 

Another friend of mine and fellow The Bachelorette watcher, Dawn, started answering everything I said with "Yeah, I see what you're saying" while laughing.  At first I was confused until I noticed and she gently pointed out that if I am not issuing a command with the word awhile attached on the end than I am explaining something banal and following it up with "Do you see what I am saying?"  i.e.  "When Bentley acts like that on national TV, he makes a bad name for Mormons everywhere.  Do you see what I am saying?"  This concept is not so complex I should seek clarification but often times as I issue an opinion of mine or explain something I find myself adding on the phrase.

Both of these phrases give insight into my daily living conditions which entail being surrounded by small children and trying to communicate in their language.  Every phrase I offer appears to be a command with the added ideal that they should be doing it immediately while I will catch up to them shortly and even the most inane concepts and thoughts should be checked for clarity from the still developing mind and vocabulary of young kids. 

As I try to correct these phrases to once again boost me into the adult echelon of communications skills I am finding myself faced with the most horrific of habits...the mutterings and half sentences of speech.  I incur these while speaking and then hearing one of the aforementioned phrases, feeling flustered, and being rendered speechless or at a minimum a stutterer.  So if in the near future you hear me making very little sense just know that it is happening because I am trying to replace all of my crazy bad habits OR there is just a small chance I am losing my mind.  It is a precarious balance I teeter.


Scott and Nancy said...

You know, I remember my mom talking about this once, but I can't remember what exactly the phrase. I don't think she really uses too many phrases from the Pennsylvania dutch anymore, but it doesn't suprise me when I hear everyone else talk about it. My favorite is just hearing your guys' accents! Brings a warm feeling to my heart <3

whitney allison said...

One PA thing you Graver's always say is "sweep" for vacuum...ok so two things, you also say "rid out the dishwasher." Oh the maddness.

I do know what you're saying though, I often catch myself saying "whole nother" which really bothers me and I try to correct it but it's an ongoing battle. That being said, I don't think "whole nother" is a PA thing, just a thing in general but that's a whole nother story...:)

Laura Lynn said...

I hear you saying those a lot but every place has it's funny little sayings and I find it endearing when you say them.

Charley and I were just talking about this last night - Utah accents and colloquialisms after seeing a bit on "Sister Wives." At least you don't say "for sell." That bugs.