Friday, May 1, 2009

Seattle Tip of the Week Three: Sound Language

Seattle is a pretty smart city. I like that, by and large. I enjoy the fact that I don't need to define my terms in a casual conversation, or explain what vegan means. I got really tired of that over the years. Living in rural West Virginia, you develop an appreciation for education when you finally meet it. Irrelevant to that opening statement, here is a picture of Pretty Sue at Carkeek park.

Then, there is the dark side. The correctors and the know it alls. They flock to locations in Seattle, ready to scowl disapprovingly at you for your errors, or correct you with layers of condescending facial expressions until you are more knowledgeable and annoyed than you were previously. This is a well known Seattle trait, and people often comment on it, apparently under the mistaken assumption that mentioning something makes it less of a problem.

One of my favorite examples of this is the Puget Sound. I often, casually, refer to it as a the ocean, or the bordering sand as the beach. This is a gigantic affront to the water, I have learned. Although it seems to me to be technically correct, it is not appropriate. Some of the weird corrections I get make sense, if they are irritating. Some parents yell at me about the level of clothing my kids wear; one woman practically threatened me once when Viri went out on a pier at Green Lake without me. But this makes no sense. Why does anyone care? I often get the same look as Arkaedi Sue when people do this:

This is one thing I won't miss about Seattle, if I ever move. Oddly enough, I will really miss the sound itself. I'm sorry, I mean the ocean.


Herc said...

I've got a feeling that no matter where I end up, it'll have these sorts of people. Maybe less concentrated than Seattle, of course (and hopefully never as concentrated as Berkeley), but they'll be there. If it's not the sound, it'll be a "hill" as opposed to a "mountain" or a "slough" rather than a "swamp."

I guess there's nothing to do, really. I mean, it's not worth it to change for these people. Our lives are pretty fun. Their lives are clearly sad and meaningless. And I think I'm ok with that.


WildBeggar said...

Yeah if I ever really want to drive them nuts, I pull out the ol' WV language. Then when they get ready to correct me, I remind them that I'm a working class Appalachian. Then they get caught between Matewan stereotypes (good) and redneck stereotypes and just lock up. I think there is still some random guy with a Nader sticker on a bike locked up on Phinney since March. We should check on him...

No, he's fine.

barker blog said...

you crawled through a window and watched the traffic go by from a two-story roof when you were less than one year old.The people on the ground were panicking,but I didnt get it? You knew where the window was.And I cant belive you eat then there vegan things,we throw ars back.