more on Pittsburgh talk; with a digression on nanas

Mon Oct 23 16:07:13 UTC 2000

        Talking to my wife, a native Pittsburgh regioner, about the recent
postings on Pittsburgh talk, reminded me of a quirk of her defunct
mother's way of talking that had struck me from the first time I had
heard it: the use of the work "anymore" in affirmative statements.
For instance, "That is so expensive anymore!"  I would only use
"anymore" in a negative context: "I can't afford that anymore."  In
Doggie Nana's statement, I would use "nowadays" or "now", &c: "That
is so expensive these days!"  (Or "That has gotten so expensive!")
("Doggie Nana" because she had a dog; my mother, who had a cat, was
"Kitty Nana".  These names were used in my own nuclear family to
distinguish which Nana we had in mind: "Let's call Kitty Nana."  Each
nana, as I remember, when addressed directly by a grandchild, was
simply "Nana".  The two nanas were never in each other's presence.)

        Another thing that Doggie Nana, the prescriptivist English teacher,
never forgave me for was failing to understand the difference between
"bring" and "take".  You were to use one word whan you spoke of
carrying something from here to there, the other when speaking of
carrying something from there to here.  This distinction made so
little sense to me that within five minutes of being chidden for
screwing it up, I would have forgotten whether I was supposed to
bring something there and take it back, or take it with me and bring
it back.

        Anyone with observations on "anymore" or "bring/take"?

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