Dueling dialects

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 11 03:26:04 UTC 2010

The other day, I was helping my wife hang pictures. We started with
the family prize, a supposedly-genuine Erte "B," inherited from her
late mother, Betty. After we'd hung that, she said to me,

"Okay. Now, let's hang the 'Y.' "

As I searched through the stack of paintings, etc., I thought, Hm. I
didn't know that we had two Ertes. I wonder whether that's one's also
genuine. But I couldn't find any "Y." I gave up, called my wife over,
and asked her whether she was certain that we had a "Y." I'd never
seen such a painting before and I couldn't find one such, now. She
came over, saying that I actually *hadn't* seen it before, since it
had been in storage till we moved back to her hometown. But, there it
was, right in front of me. I looked again, seeing only the same
Impressionistic painting that I'd seen before: a frog on a lilypad
with _WHY?_ in large, sans-serif letters painted across its top.

WTF? *I* would have referred to that painting as the "Frog."
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.
–Mark Twain

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

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