Learning To Speak Yankee

As a senior at NC State in the Fall of 1995, I wrote what vaguely passed as a humour column for the TechnicianNCSU’s student newspaper. One day I’d love to do something like it again, but for now, like Charlie Brown’s Dad, posting them 10 years later is my form of sitting at the kitchen table, eating bran flakes and looking at old highschool yearbooks

These columns have been preliminarily reproduced here in original form. Printed, they make great bathroom reading material. I recommend HP Glossy Paper. Less chafing.

This week, Jay’s Corner, having its finger fimrly on the societal pulse, makes journalistic and technical history with a conversational column.

Now I know that you are all collectively thinking, “Jay, you ninny, we all know this can’t be a conversation if we are reading something that you have already written!”

Ah, but this is a conversation. I ask you questions, you ask me questions, and I send you a bill in next month’s Technician. If the N.C. State Cashier’s Office can do it then, by golly, so can I.

For example, how many people would actually use the word “ninny” in a conversation?

What? (please note, the responses are simulated because a) I really like talking to myself, b) Milo really didn’t know where to check for the societal pulse, and c) Milo is currently undergoing Home Shock Therapy – also known as Electrical Engineering – and his fingers are really numb from sticking them into all those light sockets).

Never mind, I don’t think I want to know.

We here at the Corner are ever purusing communication excellence and in preparation for this column we have been dilligently studying all of the major foreign languages spoken in the United States today. The Corner readership is a divers and multicultural group, mainly because we have to follow Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines when hiring our readers, so our research was thoroughly meticulous.

We watched “Airplane!” in order to more fully understand the semantics of Jive! We watched “Rocky” so that we could master the are of dialogue. We practiced our rhythm and tuned our pitch so that we could speak in the universal language of music, mostly by watching reruns of “Ren and Stimpy.”

But one foreign language taxed our language abilities beyond that which we could handle.

Hebrew? Nope.

Russian? Nope.

Mandarin? Nope. Nope. Nope.

The language that brought us to our linguistic knees was Yankee.

In an effort to understand more fully the Yankee language, Jay’s Corner recently toke a trip to Massachusetts. Armed with our Yankee-to-English dictionary and braced for the shoke of passing north of the Mason-Dixon line, we had high hopes of bonding with our fellow citizens.

That is, until we found out we couldn’t communicate with them. Nothing worked, not even singing the long version of “You Light Up My Life.”

So inspired by recent world events, we have decided to form the Jay’s Corner Southern Speaking Succeeding Separatist Movement because we happen to be the only region in the country where barbecue is a noun and not an adjective.

If Quebec can do it then, by golly, so can we.

Umm, Jay, the separatists in Quebec lost.

Yeah, but they didn’t have to learn Yankee.

Say didn’t you guys already try this once and lose?

Shut up Milo, you are ruining my plan. I have a chest full of confederate dollars I need to get rid of.

You always could find one kid in the neighborhood dumb enough to trade those green pieces of paper he found in his dad’s wallet for those confederate dollars and a stick of baseball card bubble gum. He’s grown up now and is voting on tuition increases, so this succession thing is my last chance.

The only problem of course, is what to do with all them there carpet-baggers in Hilton Head and Florida.

Feed them chitlin, collards, and grits?

I like your style and if the Braves can win the World Series, anything can happen.

Jason Young is a Senior majoring in Culinary Studies. He’s currently couting the number of licks it takes to get the center of a Tootsie Roll pop.