Fwd: Re: Dutch influence
Joan Houston Hall
jdhall at WISCMAIL.WISC.EDU
Fri Apr 30 15:21:36 UTC 2004
Here's a query from a correspondent in Indonesia.
>BTW, here's another historical question, which is more general in scope:
>As a native New Yorker, I felt that the tendency to say things like
>"you're nuts" when disbelieving or disagreeing was part of a oneupmanship
>immigrant game, where "sooners" lorded it over naive "laters" (and tried
>to sell them the Brooklyn Bridge).
>It occurred to me a couple years ago that these expressions might come
>from the days of New Amsterdam. Two Dutch acquaintances I knew in
>Indonesia were fond of this kind of mental aggression, saying "that's
>crazy" or "you're stupid" in response to ideas they thought had no evidence.
>Do you think this sociolinguistic attitude might be part of NYC's Dutch
>heritage, rather than something that evolved during the late 19th century
>wave of immigration?
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