"They Also Serve Who Only Vote on 'Ain't'" in NYT

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Sun Dec 24 15:23:09 UTC 2006


And in several varieties of South Midland and Ozark AmerEng as well;
see p. 1059 in DARE, Vol. 2. My mawmaw (S. Ill-W. Ky) even used it
for a phone call ("Give me a holler when you get there so I'll know
y'all are OK.")


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>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Margaret Lee <mlee303 at YAHOO.COM>
>Subject:      Re: "They Also Serve Who Only Vote on 'Ain't'" in NYT
>I agree with Wilson. My mother (who died in 2001 at the age of 91)
>and her sister (two years older) used "holler at" regularly to mean
>to speak to someone, to greet someone.
>   Margaret
>Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>   I wonder whether anyone is dealing with "holler at" in its "current"
>slang usage. I put "current" in quotes because the supposedly "new"
>usage, as in, "Let me holler at you for a minute," "I just stopped by
>to holler at you," "The next time that you come by here, why don't you
>holler at me?" "All that you really had to do was to holler at me,"
>etc., wherein "holler" clearly is not being used as a synonym of
>"shout," etc., was used by my late grandparents and is still used in
>these and similarly seemingly slangish ways by members of my
>94-year-old mother's cohort. That is, WRT BE, this way of using
>"holler at" has been "standard" for over a century, at least.
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Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
15C Morrill Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
preston at msu.edu

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

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