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Haddayr Copley-Woods [userpic]

What a Minnesotan really means

January 28th, 2012 (02:35 pm)

Having lived in Minnesota for more than 18 years now, and influenced by the table of Britishisms explained, I have decided to go into public service. You're welcome, transplants to Minnesota!

What a Minnesotan SaysWhat s/he meansWhat the transplant thinks
"I'll get right on that!"I will never do this.This will be done very quickly!
"Um, I guess that might be okay."No.Yes.
"That's different."I hate that.He likes my unusual choices!
"Maybe you should think about . . ."DROP EVERYTHING AND DO THIS NOW.She's offering me her thoughts.
[longish pause] "Yeah, that's [smallish pause] good!"That is disgusting. Do not ever order this under any circumstances.What I am about to order at this restaurant is good and I will enjoy it.
"It's a mite nippy out!"It is 30 degrees below zero with a wind chill of minus 60.Perhaps I should put on a sweater!
"Wow! It was so nice to meet you!"Goodbye.I made a great impression on that guy!
"This was a great conversation. We will definitely get back in touch with you!"Get the fuck out of my office and thank you for wasting my time.I TOTALLY nailed that interview!
"You know, other guys might shovel the snow downwind."Oh Christ you are an idiot.He thinks I'm an idiot.
"Can you borrow me a dollar?"Will you loan me a dollar?What the hell is this person asking me? What is happening? i don't need to borrow a dollar someone help me
"Nice day, eh?"why do we live here this crushing hellish nightmare of my existence is best borne quietlyWow. This person thinks icy slush and hail is pleasant weather.
"Oh, I don't know about that . . ."You are wrong; you are completely talking out of your ass. If you don't stop talking about this I will punch you right in the jaw.This person does not know much about this topic or is very mildly disagreeing with me. I shall try to explain why I am right!
"Have a nice day."Goodbye.That person wants me to have a nice day!
"Have a super nice day!"Go fuck yourself.That person REALLY wants me to have a nice day!


Posted by: Marissa Lingen (mrissa)
Posted at: January 29th, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)

Two more, while I'm thinking of it:

"That's not what we do": your behavior is so shocking and so far over the top that I have crossed the line into direct censure. You should now slink away in shame. My dog, for example, whines or grumbles under her breath if I say, "Ista! Is that what we do?" Because the implication that it is not is bad enough.

A masterclass in "that's different": it can be used not only to censure your actions but simultaneously to mock ourselves for being too Minnesotan for words. Let us say, for example, that two Southern women have encountered each other in the baggage claim of the Minneapolis airport after being parted for somewhere between a day and ten years. They make the horrendous shrieking noises characteristic of such an encounter. I might well quirk the corner of my mouth at a Minnesotan companion and say, "Well, that's different!"

Am I actually censuring these people's behavior? Yes; shrieking in the airport is not what we do. But I am also acknowledging that my own cultural standards are a) not universal and b) kinda ridiculous.

Posted by: Careswen ferch Madoc (careswen)
Posted at: January 29th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC)

I remember being told "That's not how we do it," in your kitchen because I had prepared the kiwis the way someone else told me to. Since I don't know beans about food preparation, I was mortified, because I assumed it had the same meaning as "That's not what we do." But upon reflection, I now wonder if the two are not the same.

Posted by: Marissa Lingen (mrissa)
Posted at: January 29th, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)

The problem is that we do have a neutral "thing you did: it is done differently here in a value-neutral way," but it's tonal. That part depends very much on delivery.

Posted by: sdn (sdn)
Posted at: January 20th, 2013 02:55 pm (UTC)

If I saw the same shrieking women, I would probably make the same face and say: Ow.

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