And for Yay! One letter left to go. What a great month doing the A to Z Challenge You can click that link to find other participants.
Back to "yinz". When I was a kid, like all kids, I learned the language that was spoken around me, including the dialect. But, when I was a kid, I didn't know that. I just figured I spoke English. Oh, and those people over in England, and the people down south spoke with funny accents.
Ha! Imagine my surprise... ;-)
One of the words I grew up saying was "yinz". That is Pittsburghese (the dialect of Pittsburgh PA, USA) for saying: you guys, you all, y'all, yous, you ones, all of you. Though we joke about it, the dialect is quite real. Carnegie Mellon University offers classes on it.
Anyway, I had no idea I didn't speak mainstream American English, and couldn't even hear the difference in pronunciation between how I sounded, and say..how major network news anchors sounded. Holy cow. I talked just like Walter Cronkite. :-)
Of course, school tried hard to take it out of us, to teach us proper grammar. And for the most part, it worked. But there were some sneaky little words that persisted, and until I was an adult, I had no idea that people other than locals didn't say "red up the house" -- meaning to clean the house, jaggerbush--for thorny brambles, or nebby--for busybody.
And it's not just words unique to the region, it's flat out pronunciation that's unique as well.
When my daughter went to college and began taking linguistic classes, my real education began. She'd come home and tell me things that sort of amazed me. One of the things I learned as a side effect of her linguistic classes is just how much I write like I talk. Uh oh!
I immediately began paying attention to how I said things, how I expressed things, the order of words I chose. And I started eliminating certain words from my vocabulary. (By then I'd already eliminated 'yinz' from my vocab. I hadn't said it in years). On one of my daughter's weekend trips home from school, I commented to her that I was working on changing how I spoke--and in the process, the way I wrote. She told me that she wasn't. Her dialect is part of what makes her, her. And she added that the way I write makes me, me. That infusing dialect adds to a distinct voice. Well, within reason.
I'll share one short video to demonstrate extreme Pittsburghese dialect. I reiterate--this is extreme dialect. And I don't think I talk like this at all. But yinz would be a better judge of that than me. (lol)
The video is a one minute clip known locally as the "yinzer tornado". It's real.
Happy "Y" day, all. :-)