Thursday, September 21, 2006

Whipping Shitties

Since my mom's family is Southern and my dad's is from southern Ohio, it's a minor miracle that I don't sound like a complete hillbilly every time I open my mouth to speak. But having grown up all over the US and overseas, meeting people from every corner of America, I've always been cued in to and fascinated by regional dialects. My cousins in Alabama always made fun of me for saying "pop" to their "co-cola", a term that I'll always use, no matter how far I am from Ohio.

A while ago I was trolling around looking up dialectology on the web and I came across a
linguistics survey that is incredibly thorough and really cool. It took over an hour to do, but the results were interesting and it's well worth the time. The survey was originally done in 2001 and those results are available, broken down by state if you'd like.

A couple of my favorites include:
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
One option: The devil is beating his wife.

What do you call the activity of driving around in circles in a car?
One option: Whipping shitties.

Apparently that term is more common to Minnesota. So, if you've ever wondered who uses the term Irish shower, French bath, whore's bath, etc, you should give it a whirl. Or a whirlygig. Or a helicopter.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Please please please

So in recent months, I've been struck by a case of the giggles every time I see or think about the Oregon State Lottery logo. I think it may be my very favorite state lottery logo.

Some state lottery logos try to evoke the bucolic nature of the state itself (Maine, Minnesota). Many have changed their name or logo in recent years to reflect that it's an education lottery (North and South Carolina, New Hampshire has graduation caps being tossed in theirs).

And then there are my personal favorites, those that perhaps have a tagline or just an awesome design. My very favorite logo is Oregon's. It's simple and to the point. My second favorite has to be Texas because it evokes the rootin' tootin' good time you'll have, probably with guns, when you win the Texas lottery. Third in line is Ohio and not just because it's my home state. I love the Odds Are, You'll Have Fun tagline. I was hoping to find the actual NY lottery logo with the occasional tagline we hear on commercials, the "Hey, you never know", said by that guy with the casual, almost lazy voice. And pulling up fourth would be the Virginia logo. It's a lot like the Oregon logo, but makes good use of the V in Virginia.


I'm not sure how it snuck up on me this year, but tomorrow is the 6th International Pickle Day, complete with a street fair hawking everything pickled! Oh man, my mouth waters just thinking about it. Last year, I tried and became a devotee to a Pickled Lime and Ginger condiment from Kalustyan's. Diced and mixed with plain jasmine rice, it has become my go-to meal for every day.

So if you like pickles of all kinds ( I personally am a Pickle Guys girl.................Smells Great, Tastes Better), kimchi in all forms, pickled beets, eggs, asparagus, cauliflower, watermelon rind, make your way to Orchard Street between Broome and Grand. It runs from 10am-4:30 pm. It's also right by the LES Farmer's Market and a stone's throw from the Doughnut Plant and Kossar's Bialys. I know I'm certainly not the only one who believes this, but Kossar's, the Doughnut Plant and the Pickle Guys are the trifecta of New Yorkiness in my opinion.