"take and VP"

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Tue Feb 14 23:40:58 UTC 2006


You know it was a !@#$%^&**()_ing typo. But could you resist? NO!


>>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

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1036 USA
Office: (517) 353-4736
Fax: (517) 353-3755

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

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