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You got a problem with that....?

 
 
Chai
 
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 03:54 pm
Well, my accent may be gone, but my style is still New Joisey.
The part about interjecting Wow or Oh Yeah, or That's Awful! is so true.

My husbands from Illnois and will still after all these years stop dead in his tracks when I'll show interest in his story by saying "oh boy, I'll bet THAT made her mad"
What?! Keep going, I'm listening!

Me on the other hand have been known to say to him "How do I know you're listening? You won't SAY anything!

So anyway......
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,205 • Replies: 62
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 03:59 pm
....... long pause........... while us midwesterners think about what to say in response.

Then after the long pause.....





"Yep."






...... long pause.............
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 03:59 pm
Oh I love Deborah Tannen!!!

Love her love her love her...!

Great article!

This is perfect:

Quote:
Often, however, the others do not understand this unspoken arrangement. A friend of mine from the Midwest had a date with a Jewish man who regaled her with stories of his personal life. In exasperation, she asked, "Why are you telling me all this?" and was utterly bewildered when he explained, "I want to get to know you."
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 04:04 pm
I have only visited and worked in New York a few times but this is me all over...

Few forms of entertainment are as well loved by New Yorkers as telling stories. New Yorkers will often use dramatic gestures and facial expressions, change the pitch of their voices, or imitate the people they are quoting. A Midwesterner who worked for a few years in New York had a native friend who liked to tell him stories while they were walking down the street. When the New Yorker got to the climax of the story, he'd stop walking, nudge his friend to stop too, and deliver the punch line face to face. The Midwesterner found this a public embarrassment. But a New Yorker can't walk and tell a good story at the same time. He needs to gesture and to watch his audience watching him

That's how I am., everything is a routine with me, so it can't just be a New York thing.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 04:09 pm
See, the part about the midwesterner asking her Jewish date "Why are you telling me all this?" makes no sense to me.

What? We're on a date, talk already. You're sitting there like a lump and I don't even know how many brothers and sisters you have yet.

What, do I have to do? Pull teeth to get some information?

I'm telling you all this stuff about myself, so you can decide if you like me. and you, you just sit there. What's the sense in going out if we're not gonna talk, huh?

How am I supposed to know if we're gonna hit it off? I mean, we're sitting here at this table. What are we supposed to do? Stare at each other?

Ahhhhhhhh........<waves hand in dismissive gesture at date>
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 04:10 pm
A variation of that exact thing happened to me ("get to know you"), when I was chatting with a guy who I was training to replace me for a job. (While we were training it was work, but we also had lunch together, I showed him around town a bit since he was new, etc.). We were both deaf, he was Jewish by background and LOOKED Jewish, and that's how I was relating to him. Lots of humorous, self-deprecating stories, that were supposed to be segues for him saying, "Oh I know, there was one time that I..." but he just wasn't.

Towards the end of the training he said something like, "You seem like a nice girl, but you're so negative." I sputtered for a while... what? Me? And then figured out some of the cultural stuff. (He went to Deaf institutes and wasn't at all close to his family -- they didn't know ASL and pretty much none of the cultural stuff got transmitted to him.)
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 04:12 pm
Was typing at the same time as you Chai, totally!!

(I'm Midwestern and the daughter of a New Jersey Jew, kinda bi-cultural there.)
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 04:20 pm
Very interesting stuff, for sure. As someone who spent slightly half his life in NY (the early years) and the rest in these parts, I think there's truth to what Tannen says.

At the same time anyone who talks about him or herself at great length, then claims he/she wants to get to know the other person is being disingenuous. And those folks can come from anywhere.

Take my mother...please. She'll talk at me for a few minutes on the phone, then say, "So, what else is new?" Of course, she lived in NY for 85 years, so I guess that may prove Tannen's point!
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 04:23 pm
Lol!!!

I think I am a New Yorker from Adelaide, Australia!


I LOVE rapid conversations where everyone is speaking at once, unless I have something I really need to talk about , and need people to really understand so I can get useful feedback; I interupt (eek); I love to tell stories with lots of dramatic cues; If someone sit slike a lump, I am uncomfortable.

I didn't find New Yorkers aggressive at all, found them charming.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 04:25 pm
Where I live, we have transplants from everywhere................but a lot of people come from the midwest. I can't say three words to someone I don't know, and the first thing that they will say is "You're from New York".


The upside of this is that when I meet another New Yorker, I find that they almost seem relieved to meet me. It's as if they have been in a foreign country, and are finally meeting someone who speaks their language.
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2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 04:28 pm
In the late 90's there was a short lived tv show called "Sports Night". There were three main characters that talked to each other in the stacatto machine gun style....very witty short quips...basically a verbal shorthand.

I only watched one full episode, I could not deal with the style in which the dialog was delivered. The only character I liked was Robert Guillaume "Benson", but he was born in St Louis...so his speech patterns are more akin to mine.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 04:29 pm
I like the way New Yorkers or for that matter most any Northeasterners argue and fight.... they spend ten minutes telling you how they're going to go about whipping your ass and how painful it's going to be, whereas around here we just hit you right away. Laughing
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 04:33 pm
I know what you mean about the foreign country thing, Phoenix. From 6th grade through 8th or so my best friend was someone in the exact same circumstances as me -- we both lived in the Midwest, had one Jewish parent from NY/NJ and one non-Jewish Midwestern parent. We GOT each other, and would be constantly riffing, that whole Sports Night thing, ALL the time. Waves of language that would go various directions, start with nothing and gain momentum, etc.

That friendship ended when I started losing my hearing 'cause things would grind to a halt right at the outset. We weren't ask each other questions/ discuss subjects kinds of friends.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 04:39 pm
Gosh, Phoenix, I wonder how they can tell.
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Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 05:38 pm
Deep south here, and I was raised with the principle that if it's worth saying, it's worth saying succinctly. Mindless yabber still gets me 12 shades of hostile.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 05:48 pm
But you deep Southerners take... as... loowng... to... say... your.. few... worrds...

...as the more yabbery types take to say 10 times as much!! ;-)

I see the appeal of both, truth be told.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 05:54 pm
Questioner wrote:
Deep south here, and I was raised with the principle that if it's worth saying, it's worth saying succinctly. Mindless yabber still gets me 12 shades of hostile.


What if the person really friendly and upbeat, and what they're saying is really witty and intelligent?

It's not all mindless. Usually it's pretty sharp.

I mean, you have to really keep up with the conversation and respond to sudden shifts.

Soz, you will totally get this....

You're talking in a public place, a restaurant, and all of a sudden someone really slutty looking walks in. You say to your friend, without missing a beat, "Oh Christ, look at THAT one" really quiet voice and a flicked eyebrow in that direction. Then you go immediately back to the conversation.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 05:55 pm
Totally.

Sometimes just the flicked eyebrow though.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 05:58 pm
Oh, and the nostril flare.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2006 06:00 pm
Ha!

Yep.

E.G. has taken to giving a running commentary/ translation to sozlet on how to handle me when she's messed up; "oooh, and we have a nostril flare, that ain't good, now is the time to just apologize and hope for mercy..."
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