Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ilene Evans Language Usage 8-17
7/10/09 Book source: Ain’t you got a Right to the Tree of Life:The People of John’s Island, Their Faces, their Words, Their Songs.
Ms. Janie Hunter from the story: Jack and Mary and the Devil
8. Mary start to “get trouble in mind” – worried, bothered and upset to the extreme. I know this phrase from two different songs one is from the blues and one is an old old spiritual. In the blues it goes: Troubled in mind, I'm blue But I won't be blue always, 'cause that sun is gonna shine in my backyard someday. From the spiritual it goes I’s troubled, I’m troubled, I’m troubled in mind. If Jesus don’t help me, I surely will die. It is a sorrowful phrase to me. .I

Ms. Janie Hunter from the story: The Partridge and the Rabbit
9. “One Day the partridge outsensed the rabbit.” I am familiar with “Ain’t you got no kind of sense, and “knocked him senseless”. The both add to the meaning for me here in the story - so much more than what the 5 senses conjure up in mind. Sense and Cents and Since are all fun homonyms with the how much more clever the partridge is than the rabbit. It has a tragic ending for the rabbit. That is part of the lesson in the tale story.

10. “ Hit a straight lick with a crooked stick” this is a reference about High John De Conquer. The phrase means that he has the ability to take a bad situation and turn and turn it around right. He is known for using trickery and deception in order to bring justice and relief to the oppressed. To the phrase also means that even when those around you are crooked, the better way is to keep working to right things. it is part of the vernacular now.

7/14/09 Kroger cashier Johnson City, TN
11. A Month of Sundays – “Boy, I haven’t seen you in a month of Sundays!”
A woman at the cash register was greeting a co-worker younger than herself and who was a little simple. She greeted him informally and with great enthusiasm, It seemed to make the boy feel welcome and he started bagging my groceries with a smile on his face. The expression means that she had not seen him in a long time – so long that it would have been up to a month – hence the Month of Sundays – that wuld be four Sundays if counted in a row. It is a country phrase and generally used when you like the person a lot.

7/3/04 Recorded Interview with Ida Murphy
12. "An ol’ piece of car" – a junky, rusty, may not run well, but runs enough kind of car. It is not whole, not all there, but limps along as best it can. The vehicle is broken down in some way.
13. "Wings on their feet" – moving so fast so as to feel like she was flying. Fear has that effect on us. We feel like there are wings on our feet when we are moving very fast especially when we are running.
14. "I way way way gone" – She ran home right after school was let out When a little boy in school cut off the end of her hair. It is an African grammatical tense that means far far and farther away into the future. She got far a way from that boy fast.

15. “Squirrel gardening”, adj. - The accidental "gardening" that occurs when squirrels transfer seeds and bulbs from one one part of a garden to another, or even between gardens.
I came across this phrase form the old-timers about the apple orchard where I live. No one planted the trees on purpose. It was like the squirrels made the garden. The red squirrels have certainly taken over the trees. We dare not leave out any nuts and careful careful who you set up the bird feeder.
7/16/09 College Repair man
16. “Get more than you bargained for” - the repair man came to check the fire alarms this morning and we got to talking. He was referring to his days going out clubbing – which he no longer does - he said that “after 50 fun looks different”. He said that in reference to his son comparing their lives. His 26 year old son just had his first child and was a changed man since the birth. He said If you go out looking for trouble you will always get more than you bargained for. He thinks now, before he acts and asks himself whether or not what he is about to get into will let him get back to his son or not. If not – he doesn’t do it anymore. I could see how relieved he was to see that his son had gained some wisdom.
7/20/09 Steven Hobbs Phone conversation
17. “In the Weeds”
He said that he had been out of touch because he had been in the weeds. I asked him what that meant and he said, down here, referring to Alabama, that means that you have had to get off the road and you got caught in the wilderness, taking care of things that had not been tended and grown up into weeds.

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