Heard on The Judges

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sat Jan 26 22:48:20 UTC 2008

>>Meaning "Mom and her family", "John and his family"?
>>m a m (not M&M or Eminem)
>Basically, but not necessarily the respective family as such; could
>be people they live with or work with or hang out with, depending on
>the context, as I understand it.  I could be wrong, though, since
>it's not native to me.  I wonder if there's a distinction between
>those areas in which the last vowel is a schwa and those where it's
>an [E].

Some Pittsburghers say these things, and maybe they're more prevalent
here than somewhere else; the one that's most often mentioned (I
think) is "and that" (usually "n'at", /nn&t/ or /@n&t/ or so), which
I've heard other places too. I've heard /nnEm/ or /@nEm/ or so
usually for "and them". I suppose unstressed it's sometimes /nn at m/ or
/@n at m/  or so, but I don't remember whether I've heard this. I do not
hear these things every day even here in Pittsburgh area (unlike e.g.
the "needs washed" sort of construction).

The way I understand these things they are:

"and that" = "etc.", usually used like "and the other things"/"and
things like that"

"and them" = "et al.", usually used like "and the others"/"and other
people like that"

Imaginary example: "Thanks to Shakespeare and them we have all these
plays and that." = "Thanks to Shakespeare et al. we have all these plays etc.".

The exact items or persons referred to would depend on the context,
just as with "etc." or "et al.", I think.

Of course I don't claim that my own experience is necessarily
representative of anything much.

-- Doug Wilson

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