May 7, 2007

rubber band


I grew up calling these "rubber bands," or sometimes, "elastic bands" - "elastics" for short. In Pittsburgh, where I live now, they are called "gum bands." Small regional variations in our language persist, and this makes me happy.

Posted by EGP at May 7, 2007 11:50 PM

I moved from the midwest to New Jersey in junior high school toward the end of the year. In my new school, the friendliest people were the stoners. One day in the cafeteria shortly after I arrived, I asked my new friends where the pop machine was. They did a double take and said, "what?" "The pop machine. You know, soda pop." They laughed. "It's called soda here. We thought you were asking for the pot machine. We thought you must have come from some place pretty cool...."

Posted by: ralph at May 8, 2007 4:21 AM

We learn things in the work of others; we have sources. It's good to acknowledge these.

Since soon after it started, I have been returning to the site Woolgathering to enjoy the work here. Woolgathering is a model.

In appreciation of that I made a pencil sketch of a Woolgathering-like subject to say thanks.

The url above takes you there.

Thanks again.

Posted by: drb at May 8, 2007 9:27 AM

Here's another variation for you. In St. Paul, Minnesota, they're called rubber binders.

Posted by: Miss T at May 8, 2007 9:50 AM

Ralph, what a funny story.

Miss T, I grew up in southern Minnesota (Northfield) and didn't know that. Wonder if it is peculiar to the Twin Cities, or if I just never heard the expression as a kid.

And DRB, I tried to leave a comment on your post, but Blogger did not want to let me. I am so touched and honored by your drawing. Thank you.

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 8, 2007 11:49 PM


I'll try to fix the comment thing at blogspot.

Posted by: drb at May 9, 2007 9:53 AM

I grew up near Wheeling, WV, about 60 miles from Pittsburgh. There in the Valley, the word 'youns' (you ones?) is spoken; as in "Are youns goin' to the Dairy Queen?"

I went away to college in east Tennessee (where the all-inclusive word is y'all), and was working as a waitress in a restaurant. I asked a customer "Would youns like anything else?" The man smiled at me and asked how far away from Pittsburgh did you live? Said he was a truck driver, and that part of the country is the only place he had ever heard 'youns'.

For the summer, I was working as a waitress in my hometown. A young couple was seated in my section, and they spoke with a lovely Southern accent.
So I asked if they were from Johnson City, TN. Well, my goodness, they were from Bristol, just up the road a piece. They could hardly believe I recognized the way they talk. Well, I'd been living there for 10 months.

Small, regional variations in language also make me happy.

Posted by: MrsDoF at May 11, 2007 12:30 PM