Time and geography WRT dialects

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 27 00:17:04 UTC 2008

A while ago, when I was discussing the Saint Louis-BE distinction
between a hot dog and a frank(furter) sammich, someone asked exactly
how the distinction between the two was made. Well, wieners and
frankfurters are as distinct as Fords and Chevvies. All you have to do
is to look at them to see that they're not the same.

When I mentioned this discussion to my wife, she, too, wanted to know
how you tell a wiener from a frank! Apparently, if you're relatively
young, compared to me - my wife is slightly more than eleven years my
junior - and/or not a (black?) former Saint Louisan - my wife is from
Wilkes-Barre - there is no true distinction between a wiener and a
frank. When I tried to explain the difference to her, she said that
she, too, had never heard of such a thing. I'd have thought that the
population of Pennsylvania was at least as mitteleuropäisch as that of
Saint Louis once was and, hence, the distinction would be maintained.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
 -Sam'l Clemens

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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