09 February 2004

The Etymology Log (Hardcover Title: When Geeks Graduate)

Most of you non-Grinnellians have heard me talking about Plans before, and so know that Plans is the online community of Grinnell students, alums, and professors that allows many of us to stay connected with one another though we're far apart. Plans are different from blogs -- though not too far from a Grinnellian-only "Live Journal" -- because they're text only (one) and they're highly interconnected (two) and there's no ongoing log of them (three) and because the effect of Plans on the Grinnell community and the role of Plans in daily interaction is too complex to be explained properly, ever.

Suffice to say, for now, that Plans are like little community white-boards that many of my Grinnell friends and I check and update daily.

Today, I value Plans for the connection they allow me to have to the Grinnell community. Whenever I have a humorous anecdote or burning question, I turn to Plans. Recently, I was wondering about the etymology of the word "chiropteran" (bat), and -- lacking the Holy Oxford English Dictionary (OED) -- turned to my friends Caleb Lindley (my savior in our "English Historical Linguistics" class), Mark Bourne (linguistic superstar), and others in PlanLand (like Pat O'Neil and Posey Gruener, both English All-Stars, both in my Milton seminar senior year) for answers....


Plan of:
backes
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Precipitation Envy


[heroldk], [bournem], [lindley], or other such linguistic genuises:
can someone tell me the etymology of "chiropractor" and "chiropteran" (bat)?

I have a feeling that they're related somehow. Early scientists, who had only skeletons and mating patterns on which to draw connections between species, thought bats to be the closest species to human beings, based on their skeletons and mating/nurturing habits. Closer than apes! The freaky thing is that a bat's skeleton looks like a very tiny human skeleton, only with a little fox-nosed skull and finger-bones that curve into wings.


Oh Grinnell, how I miss your free access to the OED online!

***

Plan of:
lindley
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Thank you for the OED [bournem]. I feel like not having that thing is like not having my right hand (do note, I am left handed, so it could be worse).

Here's the deal [backes], Chiro- just means hand, and that's true in both words (it's from Greek kheir. . .whatever). However, in chiropractic the last part comes from Greek praktikos, which just means 'practical.' So I guess it's somebody who cracks your bones with their hands. In the bat one though, the last part of the word -pter is from the Greek word for wing (as in pterodactyl, which I think means leathery wing, or really gross wing made of skin or something, I don't remember the second part for sure). So, bats are called (in the New Latin), hand-wings. So the two words are related, unfortunately the dictionary I have access to does not ellaborate as to exactly why a chiropracter has hands in the name. It seems like the word just means hand-user I would think that could mean a lot of things.

***

Plan of:
oneil
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What did you think of the play, Mr. Littlejeans?

[backes] you'll love this. They are related, but not how you think. "Chiro" (or cheiro, apparently) comes from the Greek meaning "hand"; "ptera" from the Greek meaning winged (Greek scholars, forgive me, I know little Latin and less Greek; all these forms and information come from the OED). So bats were named for their funky wings. Chiropractor therefore means, "to practice (or heal) with hands." Which is to say, aside from the fact that bats have funny hands and that humans have hands with which they can sort out people's back problems, the words are unrelated. No one ever noticed something particularly human about bat skulls and gave them a name meaning "carriers of human-ish skulls."

But what *I* learned from all this is that Chiro is also the root of the word surgeon. So now we know.

***

Plan of:
gruener
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to jump on the [heroldk]/[bournem]/[lindley]/[backes]/[oneil] train--because it's fun:

so cheir (or hand), in addition to being the root in chiropractor and chiroptera, is also the root in chirographer--a specialist in penmanship. which is not exactly like, but similar to, a calligrapher (root word kallos, or beauty)--a specialist in *beautiful* penmanship.

which, in turn, is *some*what akin to a callipygian--someone with beautiful buttocks (the new word being pyge, or buttocks).

which finally takes us (via aNOTHER new root word, kakos, meaning bad, or harsh) to my very very favorite greekism, cacopygian. Or, someone with ugly, unshapely buttocks.

cacopygian. cacopygian.

.....

oh, and one more:

nostos is the greek word for a return (home) and algos is the word for pain. put em together and whaddya get?

***

Plan of:
backes
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Precipitation Envy

Thanks, [lindley], [bailey1], [bournem], [oneil], & [gruener]! I got the pter/pterodactyl connection on my way to work this morning. Except a dactyl is a metrical foot (three syllables: accented, un, un, like "elephant"). Hmmm....

***

Plan of:
lindley
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OK [backes] and [gruener], I was intrigued enough by [backes]'s mentioning of datyl being a metrical foot to force me to look it uup too. . .perhaps you've already done this, but I thought I'd share anyway. Dactyl comes from the Greek word daktulos meaning finger. It can mean this in English too. (In the word pterodactyl it means winged finger, or digit, I'm assuming due to their unique, i.e., gross, wing structure.) My guess is that it can also refer to the metrical foot, which is comprised of three sylables, because their are three joints on any given finger. But alas, since I don't have access to the OED. . .Oh, and to tie dactyl and -graph, a dactylographer is someone who studies fingerprints.

Also, you might be interested that the -pter suffix occurs in another, far more oft used word--helicopter. The first part of the word is from helix, meaning spiral (I assume that the -o- is just a sort of bridging vowel).

***

Plan of:
backes
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Sun February 8th, 11:41 PM
Name:
Precipitation Envy


Continuing the linguistic saga of bats... (and here it gets really weird!)....

from the OED entry on BAT:

[1535 COVERDALE, Molles and Backes; 1590 Genev., To the mowles and to the backes; 1611 Moules and battes.] 1414 BRAMPTON Penit. Ps. lxxx. 31 A backe, that flyith be nyt. c1440 Promp. Parv. 21 Bakke (v.r. bak), flyinge best (v.r. fleynge byrde), vespertilio. [...] 1496 Dives & Paup. (W. de W.) III. viii. 144 Lyke oules & backes whiche hate the daye & loue the nyght. a1500 in Wülcker Voc. /761 Hic vespertilio, hec lucifuga, a bake. 1509 FISHER Wks. I. (1876) 87 More louynge derkenes than lyght, lyke vnto a beest called a backe. 1513 DOUGLAS Æneis XIII. Prol. 33 Vpgois the bak wyth hir pelit ledderyn flycht. 1552 HULOET, Reremowse, or backe whiche flyeth in the darcke, nycteris. c1554 CROKE Ps. (1844) 20 The backe or owle, That lurketh yn an olde house syde. 1607 Schol. Disc. agst. Antichr. II. vi 71 To cast them to the Moules and to the backes. [1808 JAMIESON s.v. Bak, The modern name in Sc. is backie-bird. 1863 Prov. Danby, Back-bearaway, the bat, or rere mouse.]


The plural of bat used to be BACKES??? What??

Caleb [Lindley], can you explain the transformation from bak/backe to bat for me, please? I'm afraid I blanked all that out, on the suggestion of my therapist (Dr. J. Beam).

***

Plan of:
lindley
Last log in:
Mon February 9th, 2:44 AM
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Mon February 9th, 3:10 AM
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Whoa, Molly [backes], that's . . . I don't know what. Here's what the OED etymology section said:
The mod. bat, found c 1575, takes the place of ME. bakke, apparently from Scand.; cf. Da. aften-bakke ‘evening-bat,’ ODa. nath-bakkæ, OSw. (Ihre) natt-backa ‘night-bat.’ Swedish dial. have also natt-batta. natt-blacka: with the latter cf. Icel. ler-blaka ‘bat,’ lit. ‘leather-flutterer,’ f. blaka ‘to flap, wave, flutter with wings,’ whence it has been suggested that bakke, backa have lost an l; but as the l does not appear in the OSw. and ODa. forms above, this is very unlikely. The med.L. blatta, blacta, batta, glossed ‘lucifuga, vespertilio, vledermus’ (Diefenbach Suppl. to Du Cange) = cl. L. blatta ‘an insect that shuns the light’ (blattæ lucifugæ, Vergil) ‘cockroach, moth,’ is distinct in origin, but may have influenced the English change to bat; evidence is wanting. Back- in comb., backie-bird, bawkie-bird still survive in north Eng. and Sc.

And, if I'm not mistaken, all that golbidy gook means that they don't know either.
If you want, I could give you my own personal musings on the topic, whatever that's worth.

What I find interesting is that Old Swedish had both bakka and batta, just in different dialects, which means it could be the same in English (they are two voiceless stop consonants after all). I also find it interesting that the Old Icelandic and the Latin both have a bl- thing going on, and the OIce ends with a [k] and the Latin with a [t]. I was going to make speculations about the words being cognate, but I'm either full of crap or lack the necessary education to even begin to go down that road.

Beyond that, it would appear as though you have stumbled upon a mystery that requires a considerable amount of research. I don't suppose there are any family stories about the origins of your surname?

08 February 2004

Sunday Night

Happy Birthday, Dad!


Wish I could be there to celebrate with you -- and not just for the free food!

I began working on this (perhaps overly) long entry -- most of which is about Ali -- sometime last night, and thought I had finished it this afternoon, only to find that the computer gods had destroyed more than half of it. Awesome. So as you read, know that these musings are scattered and fragmented for a reason.

Too, it's not just that half of this was sucked into the cyberspace void this afternoon -- it's that I spent last night and today recovering from an overly emotional Friday and Saturday. Yesterday I left a message (voice quavering, no doubt) on Adam's cell phone, saying something about how he's the only one who could understand how I was feeling. This afternoon he called me back, and sure enough, he sounded exhausted... drained. Which is where I find myself tonight as well, facing the prospect of re-writing so much, of going back to work tomorrow, and mostly of another 10 months without Ali.


Saturday Night

What a day. What a weekend. More than anything, I am overwhelmed. I had planned on a quiet, relaxing weekend -- maybe get a haircut, maybe work on the novel, perhaps a short story about the FF characters -- and, well... the best laid plans.... ("But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane / In proving foresight may be vain....")

This morning, I awoke -- bleary-eyed and craving oatmeal -- made coffee, and, according to my morning ritual, took coffee and cereal to my desk so I could read "the paper" (online) with breakfast. Checked my email first - and o, my heart, an email from Miss Ali! About berloody time, says I, who had been losing... something. Faith? Or moxie, I suppose: "the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage." As I've said before, writing to Ali is learning to communicate in an entirely new way. My letters aren't conversations but monologues, one-sided soliloquies sent into the world with the abstract notion that my words will travel the oceans, across 10,000 miles and through countless hands to reach Ali's desk. And as of yet -- no proof.

Until today! An email from Ali thanking me for the letter I wrote on January 9, 2004, recently arrived at her door. Proof positive that letters matter and that Ali exists, somewhere out there. And though everyone teases me about being wordy (in Ali's own:"'Well, I don't know how to make this story short...' These are the words that will send you into a panic when uttered by Ms. Backes. I hadn't realized that all the other stories I've heard for five years had been the short version..."), writing week after week about nothing isn't always easy. And now an email from Ali which makes my letters seem more like dialogue, albeit with a weeks-or-months-long delay.

Too, an email from her parents -- MamaCB and Lare -- saying she'd called them and she's alive and though the phone connection sucked, she's doing well. And so, a happy beginning to my morning.

Renewed in my conviction that my letters matter, I jumped into the shower, planning first to wash away the shadows and cobwebs (and dog hair!) of the night, and second to sit out on our sunny morning porch and write a long letter to Ali. But. Just as I finished my short desert shower (water conservation is foremost in our minds here), the phone rang. Those of you who know me well know that I often screen my calls, let the answering machine pick up, but as our AM's currently out of service I answered the phone myself. Irritated at the delay in my writing plans, expecting a telemarketer at worst, maybe Cam or Kevin at best....

It was Ali!

I don't know if I have ever been happier than I was at the moment that my slow brain at last connected the voice on the line with the person to whom I was about to settle down and write: my Ali!

The night Ali presented her education porfolio/SRT, I gave her a you're-finally-finished-with-Grinnell present, something I had been working on for nearly a year: a book of us. I collected all the entries from my journals written either about Ali or in her presence, all the emails between us I'd saved in five and a half years, pictures, notes from the one class we took together, letters, plans, etc. It ended up being close to 400 pages long -- and that's with significant editing on my part. Though the book gives a pretty good picture of the two of us, the connection between Ali and me could never be captured in words.

...I have never found a way to explain the ties that held us together. How do you fit a friendship into a few sentences? How indeed? We were the best of friends. We shared a thousand moments of connection. We knew one another as well as we knew ourselves, because together we discovered who each of us was. I mean, we grew up together. We crossed that line between childhood – when life is so different from day to day that you have to buy new shoes every three months and nothing seems constant at all – and personhood, when you finally recognize that there are some things about you that are specific and special to you, things that make you you. [...] When you grow up that way, you become a part of one another. I read somewhere that the roots of the redwood trees in Northern California go down and then spread out and connect to the roots of the trees around them, until underneath the ground there is this massive network of roots all tied together, holding every tree up. That’s how we were....
(from "Maya," 2001)



My Ali. In five and a half years, we've had our share of adventures, have driven across the country together several times (I'll never forget the look on MamaCB's face when Ali and I showed up unexpectedly in the summer of 2001, after driving 20-odd hours straight from Iowa in my advisor's smelly dog-car), have lived together in two different states, have had the most ridiculous conversations and the most profound, have taught together (always learning from one another in the process), have fought bitterly and come out stronger for it, have cried together and laughed together (sometimes in the same breath), have held one another up, have kicked ass for each other (our club junior year: Fired Up Chicks Unite!, or FUC U!), have laughed ourselves to sleep, have kept ourselves up all night long talking, have done countless crosswords together, have taken care of one another through illnesses, have acquired an entire dictionary of inside jokes and verbal shortcuts (to the point that we often have conversations in which whole sentences go by without a single noun: "Hey, do you--" "Yeah, I was just thinking the same thing!"), have watched hundreds of cheesy movies together, have scored thousands of points on the dartboard, have created too many memories to count.... In other words, have been the best of friends.

Clearly, I would not be the person I am today -- nor the writer, nor the teacher -- without Ali. Of course, the same could be said of many people in my life, but few have had an influence on me as profound or as obvious as Ali's has been.

Talking to her was a great gift, one that seemed miraculous. She sounded wonderful, though from what she said (and didn't say) it seems as though she's having some trouble at school -- however, all fellows faced the same kinds of trouble at the onset of the year, and assuming it's the same thing, it should settle down (or at least the chaos should begin to seem normal) in a few weeks. She called from Ladybrand, South Africa, where she and Lauren were staying at a Bed & Breakfast with a kind proprietor who wouldn't go to bed until he was sure that Ali was safe in her room. Ali said she and the man had a long conversation about apartheid, and that they didn't see eye-to-eye (he's an Afrikkaner who grew up under the system) but Ali managed to express some of her views without being disrespectful. It's one of her great talents, I think. She can disagree with you and be so sweet about it that you suddenly find yourself wanting to change your opinion to match hers. Of course, when she disagrees with me she usually just calls me "Backes" and punches me, but I've seen her work her sweet-talking magic on others, I have indeed.

Anyhow, she was calling from South Africa, so the connection was amazing -- she could have been calling from across town -- which surprised me after talking to Nadia in college, when she was in Tanzania, or to Nadia's parents when they'd call from Barbados. I expected that talking to Ali would be the same: echo-y as hell, with a several-second delay that makes normal conversation almost impossible (whenever Nadia's parents would call White House, I'd go crazy trying to talk to them), but it was just fine. Also, the entire time I was talking to Ali, she was talking about how the cars were all driving on the "wrong" side of the road, and how she worries that she's going to get hit because she can never remember which way to look when she crosses the road.

Eventually, because I couldn't keep her on the line forever, and because the nice B&B owner was waiting for her to get off the phone so he could go to bed, we had to say goodbye. And knowing I wouldn't hear her voice again for weeks or even months ---- ah, me. Saying goodbye: I suck at it. After more than the usual number of i-love-yous, we let go the connection.... I spent much of the rest of the afternoon either in tears or on the verge (which is when I called Adam -- he didn't understand my message until he talked to Ali later that night, the next morning in Ladybrand). I miss her every single day, but hearing her voice reminded me of the exact dimensions of the hole in my life without her, and I was sadder than when she left in the first place.

And so it goes....

***

After reading Coelho's El Alquemista ("what, for the 20th time?" asks Kevin) to calm myself, I cleaned a little, took the dog on a walk up to the golf course and took pictures of mountains to finish up a roll of film (tried to take pictures of the dog in front of the mountains and ended up lying on my stomach in the grass on the highest hill, laughing my ass off and generally looking like a crazy person), did some cleaning, read through the entirety of Johnny Cavalier, 1998-2002, and then talked to Kevin for a long time, which was lovely as always.

***

Speaking of paying the bills, we knew our old friend Ian Honeyman had a credit on the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but what we didn't know is that he's building a substantial resume for himself! Which just goes to show that Oregon grads can do anything. Maybe.

***

Oh, and I finally read Things Fall Apart, after meaning to do so for eight years. Thanks for the other book recs, folks. Keep it up!


----- Much love from an exhausted Molly -----

04 February 2004

Wednesday Night


Yeah, Massachusetts!!
"The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal. For no rational reason the marriage laws of the commonwealth discriminate against a defined class; no amount of tinkering with language will eradicate that stain. The [civil unions] bill would have the effect of maintaining and fostering a stigma of exclusion that the Constitution prohibits."


***

As I was driving home from work tonight, I was brooding about this mistake I made at work a few weeks ago. It wasn’t a big thing, but I was chastising myself for being such an idiot – until I realized that there’s no reason I should have known better. As I have mentioned before, the place where you grow up determines certain assumptions you make, assumptions that don’t get challenged until you move to a place with a different set. I find myself defending certain ideas I have and choices I make by saying, “Well, in Wisconsin/Iowa it’s this way....” Sometimes I feel like Rose from that old show The Golden Girls, who would always defend herself with stories about Lake Wobegon or wherever she was from. And so, for your reading pleasure, I present:



ERRORS AND ASSUMPTIONS I'VE MADE IN NEW MEXICO, or MIDWESTERN MISTAKES


1. If you address a letter to someone’s house, it will reach them.

This is the mistake I made at work: a few weeks ago, we were sending out a mailing to people in the East Mountains, asking them to come to a meeting on February 12. There were probably 35 people on our list, most of whom hadn’t listed their mailing addresses. Without putting much thought into it, I looked up the names in the East Mountain phone book, and only called people for their addresses if they were unlisted in the phone book. Last week, about 10 of the letters I’d sent out were returned, and my boss was pretty irritated. “You can’t send mail to a person’s address,” she said, using a tone generally reserved for the very young, the very old, or the developmentally disabled. “No one gets mail at their house; everyone has post office boxes.” “Um, sorry,” I said, feeling stupid. It wasn’t until tonight that it hit me: why the hell would I know that? I come from a magical land where people either get mail delivered to their houses, or else list their mailing address in the phone book.

2. “I know how to drive in the snow! No problem!”

When I moved out here, I had eight years of winter driving experience under my belt. I had driven through some pretty freaking horrible snowstorms, including one so bad it took me nearly four hours to drive the 60 miles from Iowa City to Grinnell (we left at 2:30 am and didn’t get to Grinnell until 6 in the morning), with visibility at, like, two feet and semi-trucks jack-knifed on the sides of the highway every quarter mile. But. One big difference between driving in an Iowa winter and driving in a New Mexico winter is that if you go off the road in Iowa, chances are good that you’ll land in a cornfield. Whereas if you go off the road in New Mexico, chances are good that you’ll go plunging down some ridiculously steep embankment and end up bruised and broken hundreds, maybe thousands, of feet below at the bottom of the canyon.

3. Gigantic jeeps, trucks, and SUVs are evil.

Modification: gigantic jeeps, trucks, and SUVs are evil if they’re only manifestations of a suburbanite’s wish to pretend her life is far less tame than it seems. I’d guess that 96% of the people in this country who drive these monstrous machines do not actually need them. However, they’re necessary if you live at the top of a mountain and need lots of horsepower and four-wheel drive simply to get home at night.

4. “You don’t need a coat today.” Pt. 1

This continues to trick me: in the mornings when I take the dog out, I decide how many layers I’ll need for the day based on how cold it is in my backyard. Please note that, for the most part, this is a totally viable strategy in this midwest. However, the weather in Albuquerque is often completely different from the weather in the East Mountains. Tonight, for example, I left work early because it was a right blizzard in Tijeras, with big wet snowflakes, slick roads, and crappy visibility. This weather bothered me for all of six minutes on the drive home, until I came far enough down the mountain to be back in the drier, warmer climate of the city. Though I had been freezing my face off all day at work, once home I took the dog for a walk and didn’t even need a coat. Go figure.

5. “You don’t need a coat today.” Pt. 2

A few weeks ago, my new intern and I were strolling from the parking lot to the Talking Talons center, enjoying the balmy spring air and sunshine. At least, I was strolling and enjoying the day. My intern was hunched over and shivering, cursing the bitter winter. After a minute or so of listening to her bitching, I finally snapped, “Oh my god, woman, it’s in the mid-50s!” She nodded miserably. “I’m wearing thermal underwear under my jeans and sweatshirt and jacket, and I’m still c-o-o-o-o-o-o-l-d!”

6. “You don’t need a coat today.” Pt. 3

This weekend, I was at a conference in Santa Fe and it was legitimately cold. The temperature was in the teens, and it was snowing and windy. Leaving the hotel for the day, me: thick wool socks, boots, long corduroy pants, a teeshirt, cardigan sweater, long wool coat, scarf, gloves. Leaving the hotel for the day, my intern: open-toed sandals (!!!), no socks or stockings, thin linen pants, short-sleeved silk blouse, loosely-knit cardigan sweater. And that’s all. Being the paranoid midwesterner that I am, I usually have one or more sweatshirts, hats, pairs of gloves, extra socks, boots, and sometimes jackets in the back of my vehicle (in case I get in a blizzard and have to exist in my car for a few days, or dig myself out of a snowbank, or stand around talking to police officers after someone slides into my truck, of course). Raising an eyebrow, I offered my intern an extra jacket and pair of gloves – “You’re welcome to take an extra sweatshirt as well, if you’d like.” Understand that this was just a light unlined spring jacket, good for keeping out wind and rain, but not much else. Imagine my surprise when I came back to the truck to find that my intern had put the jacket on but had taken the sweater off and was throwing it into the truck. “Don’t you want to wear the jacket over your sweater?” “Oh, no, that’s not a sweater, that’s my winter coat.”

7. Given the state’s rich Spanish heritage and bilingual nature, places with Spanish names have Spanish pronunciations.

WRONG! Even though I studied Spanish for more than five years and had a good enough grasp on the language to get by in Costa Rica, I never guess the correct pronunciations of towns and cities. This week’s example: Malpais. El Malpais National Monument is in New Mexico, and whether it was this area or the Malpais Pueblo in Arizona to which Aldous Huxley refers in Brave New World, I am not certain. However, I am certain that “el malpais” is Spanish for “the badlands.” I was talking about the book this weekend, and said something about the savage from “ell-mal-pie-ees” when a certain snooty someone jumped in and corrected me. “You mean Maal-pie.” “Oh, is that how you say it? I just assumed the Spanish pronunciation.” “It’s not Spanish, it’s Indian,” says my know-it-all friend, as if I am the most retarded person she’s ever met. [For the record, I looked it up, and it is Spanish, and I actually pronounced it correctly.]

Other cities I’ve pronounced incorrectly:
Amarillo, TX (Spanish: ahm-ah-REE-o, Texan: Aa-mah-RILL-ah)
Santa Fe, NM (Spanish: san-tah FAY, New Mexican: SANNA-fay)
Madrid, NM (Spanish: mah-DRID, New Mexican: MAD-rid)
And so it goes....

The thing that really bothers me, though, is when people are really condescending and snotty about my incorrect pronunciations. I mean, for god’s sake, if someone from New Mexico were visiting me in Wisconsin and wanted to go to Prairie du Shee-ehn, I wouldn’t be laughing at them, I’d be laughing at us. That’s Prairie doo SHEEN, friend.

8. “Up” and “North” are the same direction.

Because Albuquerque is built at the base of the Sandia mountains, the entire city slopes eastward. Thus, if you tell someone to go up the street, they’ll take you literally, and go east. Naturally, “down” and “west” are synonymous as well.


***

Of course, this list is only a small sampling of all the ways I make a fool of myself here. One day, perhaps, I'll make a list of all the ways a person can kill themselves out here (spider bites and mouse poop come to mind, not to mention the plague), or all the words that have different meanings (hot sauce, patio, weather).

For now though, I'll leave it be, with this post-script only:

If you want to make fun of someone from Wisconsin, it's funny to mock their exaggerated long o's (AriZOna, MinneSOta) or talk about cheeseheads, hockey, hot-dish, Lutherans, or Mary Jo's lemon bars.

It is not funny to say "Wis-CAN-sen! Wis-CAN-sen!" because NO ONE IN WISCONSIN ACTUALLY SAYS THAT! Everyone from Wisconsin pronounces the word like it's spelled: Wis-con-sin. The only people in the whole goddamn world who say "Wis-CAN-sen" are the idiots from everywhere else, who think they're so funny by misprounouncing the name of the state in a completely inaccurate manner.

Arrrgh!


However, if you want to make a Wisconsinite fly into a homicidal rage, I've got just the ticket....