Heard on The Judges: "The Man"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri May 23 16:28:37 UTC 2008

On Fri, May 23, 2008 at 12:18 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thirty-ish, black plaintiff from Dallas, TX, describing a telephone
> conversation:
> "He [my boss] akses me what-all was wrong with the truck. Well, I
> tells him what was wrong, but he claim he don't understand what I'm
> talking about. So, I gives him to _The Man_. I lets _The Man_ tell
> him."
> In Texas, at least, narration or story-telling in the historical
> present tends to bring forth the first-person -s. I remember a
> co-worker so into the telling of a story that he not only said, "I
> goes walking into the bar," but he also mimed the walking.

Do you also get "So I says to myself, 'Self' (I says)" in those Texas
storytelling traditions?

--Ben Zimmer

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

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