"take and VP"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Feb 14 21:00:51 UTC 2006

>Yes; this is a familiar piece of ross-ethnic regional familiarity,

sounds like a euphemism for "Scots"   ;-)

>especially to me in the North; less frequent these days than years
>>I agree with you there, dInIs. If the the white speakers had had any
>>traces of Down Home in their speech, I wouldn't have thought much of
>>it. I would have thought, "It's just a  Southern thing, to be
>>expected." I remember an embarrassing moment from my Army days. I
>>heard some black GI's talking behind a closed door. Since black guys
>>were rather rare in elite, non-combat units like the Army Security
>>Agency, I just barged in to see who they were, where they were from,
>>how they came to be in the Agency, etc.
>>Well, it turnrd out to be a roomful of white GI's. I was so startled
>>that I don't remember how I explained away my having walked in without
>>bothering to knock. In any case, they were all from Louisiana, so I
>>told them that I was from deep East Texas, only a hoot and a holler
>>from Sreepote and we sat around shooting the shit, for a while.
>>BTW, this social anomaly may interest you, dInIs. In those days, late
>>'50's to early '60's, it was working-class soldiers from the North who
>>demonstrated the most racial animosity against their black
>>counterparts, not the Southern soldiers, whatever their class. It was
>>like "You understand. There's nothing to laugh about in the way we
>>talk. You know what sweetmilk and lighbread are. You eat hamhocks and
>>black-eyed peas, mustard/turnip/collard greens. Here in Germany, we're
>>all Southerners together." When we weren't on duty, I called not only
>>the first sergeant, but also his *wife*, by their first names. They
>>were Alabamians and my father was a native of Alabama. So, it was like
>>"Old Home Week" when I got together with them. On the other hand, the
>>Northern GI's referred to him as The Buzzard behind his back and
>>ignored the existence of his wife.
>>There was another time when a white Louisianan felt such a connection
>>with me as a fellow Southerner that he got out his prep-school
>>yearbook to impress me with whaat a BMOC he had been, forgetting that
>>the yearbook revealed that, among his various other accomplishments,
>>he had been president of his school's Young White Citizens Council. I
>>pretended not to have noticed that, so as not to embarrass him.
>>On 2/14/06, Dennis R. Preston <preston at msu.edu> wrote:
>>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>>  Poster:       "Dennis R. Preston" <preston at MSU.EDU>
>>>  Subject:      Re: "take and VP"
>>>  Wilson,
>>>  Funny; my association with this use is by White, working-class high-
>>>  and lowland Appalachians, not with Blacks at all.
>>>  I'ma haul off and change my mind on your report (just as yours was
>>>  changed by your experience).
>>>  For me this reraises the more general question  of the similarities
>>>  of White and Black speech in the South in general, and I suspect we
>>>  have a lot more to learn. Who learned (borrowed, stole) what from
>>>  whom?
>>>  dInIs
>>>  >For a large part of  my life, I've considered forms like:
>>>  >
>>>  >I took and hit him
>>>  >
>>>  >to be peculiar to Black English. However, I've now heard
>>>  >this used by white people from states as disparate as
>>>  >Connecticut and Illinois. A colleague from Connecticut
>>>  >used it, bot only on very rare occasions.
>>>  >
>>>  >However, on today's Jerry Springer Show, there was a
>>>  >white guy from Illinois who used "take and VP" in
>>>  >practically every sentence, to a degree actually far greater
>>>  >than I'm accustomed to hearing from black speakers. He
>>>  >said things like:
>>>  >
>>>  >If she really loved me, she wouldn't've _took and slept_
>>>  >with other guys
>>>  >
>>>  >When she asked me for things, I _took and gave_ them to
>>>  >her, but she still _took and went out_ with other guys
>>>  >
>>>  >He happened to say, "We're both from the same state, Illinois."
>>  > >Unfortunately, he didn't say what location in Illinois. Oddly,
>>>  >neither of the other two people that he was interacting with
>>>  >used "take and VP" at all.
>>>  >
>>>  >-Wilson Gray
>>>  >
>>>  >------------------------------------------------------------
>>>  >The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>>  --
>>>  Dennis R. Preston
>>>  University Distinguished Professor
>>>  Department of English
>>>  15C Morrill Hall
>>>  Michigan State University
>>>  East Lansing, MI 48824
>>>  517-353-4736
>>>  preston at msu.edu
>>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>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

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

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