The Pursuit Part Six – Are We There Yet?

There was more research on colloquialisms or the like after finishing part five. You knew something that weird would get my attention. Those state-by-state words peculiar to their specific state surprised me in that only one I recall anyone from that state using and it was “ish” using by a friend from Minnesota and is just an expression of disgust. Maybe that one is more universally used? Or maybe those people hidden in the cities and towns of other states haven’t come out of the woodwork to reveal their specific state’s NPR-designated colloquialism (see Part 5) when yours truly has been around.

Now, “are we there yet?” is a common question we are all pretty much aware of. It usually is spoken from occupants of the back seat of a car who are still clearly minors. Teens, especially late teens, who utter this question in a car are less likely to reach drinking age than younger children. At least, that is my guess. The term could be used in a broader sense than that of physical location. And so we could talk on and on about language “things,” but we never get to the name of the cabin.

Yes, naming the cabin. All of this started with wondering if the correct English was “a” or “an” historic – well, actually, with the pursuit of being lonely. Anyway, “a” or “an” had to do with the historic name of the cabin, if there was one. And there might be one…

Yes, it was several parts back, but do you recall the sign mentioned that was in front of the cabin? Well, it was more in front of the parking area, easily visible from Country Club Road or Curly Shingles Road. That parking area is now replaced with the garage and better defined driveway. It said, “Curly Shingles Cabin.” Well, it appears that name “sticks” historically, regardless of when the cabin was built relative to the others on the road, perhaps because it sits at the corner, at the beginning (or end, depending on your perspective) of the road.

Another fact heard is that people around these parts use homes, businesses, or other objects of distinction as reference points, perhaps more than streets and addresses. Our time here is not long enough to understand all of these, but they have been used frequently. So, in some people’s vernacular, “Curly Shingles Cabin” is a landmark that helps define where things are. My guess is that everyone does not use the cabin by that name as a landmark, but many might. The cabin was a vacation home for years and there have been many in conversation about where I live that have stayed in the cabin on vacation or knew someone who did. Neighbors have stayed in the cabin.

The use of the term, “driveway,” is important. In discussing my project for the garage with the local zoning folks, I referred to the area known as the “driveway” as a “parking area.” The guy corrected me the first two times I said that and then I asked, “What’s the difference?” Bigly, one might say. An established driveway keeps the State of Indiana out of my garage project. If it were a “parking area” then the State would need to approve a “driveway” before I could build a garage. The County wins – It’s a driveway.

Now, really – renaming might not be THAT much of an issue. Toronto used to be named York, Mali was French Sudan – there are many bigger name changes than the cabin. (See Wikipedia for a long list of name changes, including unusual ones.) Being a history major, though, there has to be some respect for the past. But, the placard or sign proclaiming “Curly Shingles Cabin” has been saved and plans for that were tentatively to place it somewhere around the deck. That’s historical. However, the sign could be on the garage side facing the street as a reminder to all of those with that memory and that does not deter renaming the cabin.

So, the name… Maybe next part…