Crash Bag, Vol. 69: Baumann’s Second Law of Social Conduct

There are two great regional food-related battles in American language: soda vs. pop vs. coke and what you call a sandwich on a long roll.

I pay a lot of attention to such things because my own linguistic base is mixed–not only have I split my own life between the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast, I’m of mixed parentage, having had ancestors on both sides of the Civil War. Which, in general, has led to my not having much of an accent at all, but occasionally leads me to ask people to go to breakfast by saying: “Y’all want to get some cwawfee and begels?” KTLSF not only being a Southerner, but a linguist as well, probably makes me even more aware of regional dialects than I would be otherwise. Side note: when you ask someone what the greatest moment of his life is, the modal answer, I think, is “the birth of my children,” which is great and noble, but I don’t have any. I can’t imagine it being better than being present for the moment KTLSF became aware that she, like most people from the Southeastern U.S., only uses four of the five vowels. Don’t believe me? Find a guy from a state with an SEC school and ask him to say “pin,” and then to say “pen.” This kind of stuff fascinates me, and when that map of dialects came out on Business Insider a couple months back, I spent way too much time dissecting it.

Anyway, I mostly talk like a guy from South Jersey, with the occasional Virginia/Carolinas inflection or colloquialism thrown in. After almost nine months in Wisconsin, I have not to my knowledge picked up any speech habits from the Upper Midwest, but I could be wrong. I say “soda,” and “traffic circles” instead of “roundabouts,” and “sear-up” instead of “sur-up.”

But the more I think about it, the more sure I am that when it comes to the sandwich thing? I don’t say “hoagies.” I say “subs.” I don’t know why, and it causes me deep shame.

You know what else causes me to feel shame? The Phillies. Let’s talk about those.

@asigal22: “Phillies win 4 of the next 6 world series or you win a million dollars??? Greater good of city vs. Greater good of yourself.”

In the early days of Crash Bag, my would-be Liberty Ballers comrade Jake Pavorsky asked how I’d fix the Phillies if I were given $150 million. My answer: I wouldn’t. I’d buy penthouses and sports cars and good food and bourbon and start a magazine and screw you guys.

My answer is the same even with this lesser sum. $1 million? Not enough to live on forever, but certainly enough for me to concentrate on writing full-time for a few years, maybe buy a new car and move someplace more interesting than where I live now…yeah, the hell with you guys. I’m taking the money without a second thought.

Continue reading…