one-time "whenever", live

Montgomery Michael ullans at YAHOO.COM
Sun Sep 2 04:19:29 UTC 2007

This is a classic Scotch-Irish feature attributable to
18th-century Ulster emigrants, so I'd presume mainly a
Midland and then a secondarily Lower Southern spread.
I have collected over the years probably two hundred
of them punctual cases (as Buchholz's below) and a few
that are more episodic (sometimes involving very
lengthy episodes, such as "whenever I was young, ...
").  The ones I have are mainly from TN (very common),
SC, and Northern Ireland.  Since I hear it once or
twice a week here in SC, I've stopped collecting them
unless they're pretty dramatic, like "whenever the
thief killed the officer, he stole his verhicle" or
"whenever I swatted that fly, it bit the dust and
died."  Makes linguists ponder reincarnation, doesn't

It was first recorded, so far as I am aware, but N. C.
Burt in "The Dialects of Our Country" in _Appleton's
Journal_ (1878).  I published a paper on it as a
trans-Atlantic feature in _Journal of English
Linguistics_ 29:234-49 (2001).


--- Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society
> Poster:       Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: one-time "whenever", live
> At 11:08 PM 9/1/2007, you wrote:
> >---------------------- Information from the mail
> header
> >-----------------------
> >Sender:       American Dialect Society
> >Poster:       Laurence Horn
> <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> >Subject:      Re: one-time "whenever", live
> >
> > >Just listening to Red Sox 22-year-old rookie
> "phenom" [that's
> > >PHEE-nom] Clay Buchholz in his post-game
> interview after throwing a
> > >no-hitter in his second appearance in the major
> leagues.  He was
> > >asked about a great play behind him by second
> baseman Dustin Pedroia
> > >who took away what looked like a sure hit in the
> seventh inning and
> > >he responded along the lines of
> > >
> > >"Yeah, whenever he made that play I knew I had a
> shot [at the no-hitter]."
> > >
> > >Not surprisingly, he sounds Southern (to me), and
> sure enough his bio
> > >lists him as born in Nedarland, TX and as having
> attended Angelina
> > >JC, also in Texas.
> > >
> > >I've read about (and even written about) episodic
> "whatever"...
> >
> >I meant "whenever" here, as above, not "whatever".
> Whatever.
> >
> >I'm not sure where the isogloss actually is.  I
> recall it being in
> >the Smoky Mountains compendium of Michael
> Montgomery and other
> >inventories of southern and mountain speech, and
> Doug's comment on
> >Pittsburgh would extend it northward, but I'm not
> clear on where it
> >*can't* occur (other than the echt northeast and
> coastal California).
> >
> >LH
> It's been reported here in SE Ohio, which is an
> extension of the West
> PA/Pittsburgh dialect area, as I've often noted (my
> LVC map of this
> extension was even on last year's NWAV t-shirt!).
> But I doubt that it
> extends much farther north and is rare even here
> now.  Central and Northern
> Ohio are quite different animals.  Southern Indiana
> and Illinois, anyone?
> Beverly
> >The American Dialect Society -
> The American Dialect Society -

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