Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beth Ohlsson - Language 11- 17

11. Seen on the side of a van in Jonesborough: Union Jack Plumbing (complete with a picture of a British naval type person). On the back of the same van were the words: "The British are plumbing!" The sighting was reported today by a fellow ETSU graduate student. The play on the words "The British are coming!" makes a really good joke, and thus creates a positive identity for the company. So when I'm in TN and I think of plumbing, I will think of Union Jack.

12. Today, Libby was talking about her Finest Hour w/ Valeri while we were having supper. Libby was talking about her version of the Hindu tale, "The Ruby." She said, "I Appalachatized it, and called it 'The Rock'. And it worked well, I think." What Libby communicated was that she h"had taken a Rumi story and set in Appalachia, giving it a mountain, down home kind of twist.

13. Another Libby-ism: "I'd like to fell up right there on the floor." She explained that this meant that whatever was seen or heard had such shock value that one's knees would give way and one would fall up, not down. I don't understand how this might be logistically possible...but that doesn't change the intent of the communication.

14. "It's not the years, it's the miles." A saying that comes from my ex-husband, an East TN boy who used it to describe the credibility and wisdom that come from experience; not necessarily age. Today in class, Lorri was talking about how old people become melancholy about what they've lost throughout their lives. David's response was that regret wasn't necessarily a function of age; that it's a function of having lived through all that life is - good, bad, and indifferent. My comment to validate and clarify was that "it's not the's the miles."

15. He ( or she) has been rode hard and put away wet." A sentence used to describe someone who's life has physically aged them is weathered his declined and sagging, the spine has started to shrink, the walk has become stilted.... This appearance is often the result of hard, fast living....usually involving heavy use of drugs and/or alcohol.

16. In thinking on Kim Weitkamp's phrase for a sharp tongued woman, I remembered how an acquaintance of mine described herself as a younger woman. " I had a razor blade under my tongue." Vicious words designed to cut; to do damage, much like the word sarcasm, which literally means "to tear flesh."

17. "That and a quarter will get you an operator on a pay phone." This was when you could find a pay phone. And the saying meant that whatever you were offering or whatever you had that you were bragging on (could be no bigger than an opinion.) This sentence was designed to shut up the speaker while pointing out that whatever was being communicated had no inherent value of it's own....It couldn't be sold.

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