Notes on vernacular

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I love to listen to different dialects on the CB, I get a kick out of the impatient, high-pitched guys up around Chicago, especially when they’re met with a good ol’ boy’s long, slow drawl.

“Oh jeez guy, are you freakin’ serious right now? You really gonna whip that load of crap Petahbilt ovah heyah right now? Fahchrissakes!”

“Keep yer panties on, son, I got a full-grown with a capture in the breakdown, I’ll mosey out of your way momentarily… stand by.”

“I’m sorry, what was that again?”“I’m sorry, what was that again?”

And while that should be the end of the conversation, it usually isn’t. Because like the trucker lounges, and the Counters of Knowledge all around the world, there has to be that one person who takes over the entire conversation, whether or not it has anything to do with them, so they can “break it down for you.”

There are three verbal cues I’ve picked up that immediately alert me to B.S. and make me want to ask questions the people using them probably wouldn’t want to answer.

You hear what I’m saying?
When someone punctuates the end of every statement with “You hear what I’m saying?” it makes me want to ask them if my ears appear unusually tiny or dysfunctional in any way, because I can’t imagine any other reason they would insist so adamantly I might not be hearing them. Have I cocked my head like a dog while they were speaking, and didn’t realize it? I wonder why they might not consider why I wouldn’t say “What?” if I didn’t hear what they were saying. By the third time they ask me if I hear what they’re saying, I’m off in my head wondering all these things and I have indeed not heard what they said past the first two times they said “You hear what I’m saying?”

You feel me?
I mentally and immediately answer this with “Um, no. I just met you” or “Gross” or a combination of both. No I do not feel you. Stop saying that.

And of course, we can’t forget the trucker lounge favorite of …

Let me break it down for you.
Let me break this down for you. I’ve learned to be happy with the simple act of everyone in the lounge having on big boy or girl pants. I doubt very seriously anything could be “broken down” to the point of epiphany in a trucker lounge in Jacksonville, Florida. I will likely listen to your “breakdown,” and one day, I may even have a trucker lounge revelation, but until then “let me break it down for you” will be cumbersome for me. You feel me?

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People are strange creatures, we all have our quirks and patterns of language. Being on the road sometimes highlights our differences as much as it points out our similarities. These things make the world a more interesting place, even if it’s annoying sometimes. You hear what I’m saying? Let me break it down for you …