Links are Having a Party In my Pants

Book CoverA few years ago, I knew a couple who were both in grad school and lived on Top Ramen and Rice-a-Roni. One Christmas, he saved up for months and gave her an Oxford English dictionary. It was so unexpected and so very much wanted that she cried for months whenever she talked about her gift.

The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) might be a gift like that for me. I love, love, love regional dialects, from Pixburgese to the fine Jersey vernacular, and I love that the DARE explores all those quirky expressions you hear – or read – that make a place more vivid.

And, it’s a might bit cheaper than The OED.

[Thanks to fellow word geek Tina C. for the link.]

Penalty time! 15 yard penalty and ejection from the game for USNews.com for this ever-popular and ever-ridiculous mention of Harlequin’s as “bodice rippers.” HQN’s $4mm profit in the 4th quarter of 2008 (way to go, guys!) made the romance genre one of 10 winners in the recession – along science fiction, fantasy, and humor titles.

Wow, a multi-national corporation turns a profit in one of the worst downturns in recent history and your response is to… bodice rippers? Really? Did you have to go there? Leave the field immediately before I throw something at you.

Please, Harlequin, can you do a novella series wherein each and every heroine has a bodice ripped, but NOT IN THAT WAY, if you know what I mean? I would be so amused!

[Thanks to Ann for the link.]

Heather at the Galaxy Express has a hella-list of DRM-free publishers. Thanks, Heather!

And finally, thanks to Vyc, we have a link to a whoooooole mess of .mp3 files from The April Winchell Show. The one that requires your immediate attention is Fabio teaching you Italian. Specifically, how to say, “There is a party in my pants, and you are the guest of honor.”

Anyone attending RT this year needs to learn this phrase so we can gather at the bar like saucy, savvy Italian wannabes.

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The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1

    The only thing it’d be better would be if they attached a dvd with all this stuff read outloud in appropriate accents.

  2. 2
    Barb Ferrer says:

    *SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON*

    Hell, I’d rip my own bodice for those volumes.

  3. 3

    Thanks for the linkage, Sarah! You made it easy.

  4. 4
    CourtneyLee says:

    I feel like the romence genre should pull a Rodney Dangerfield and lament the fact that it can’t get no respect, even when it kicks ass in terms other people can understand.

    But hey, romance was mentioned ahead of chocloate and condoms! LOL

  5. 5
    Silver James says:

    DARE is multi-volume? At almost a $100 a pop? I can only hope my library has copies.

    Too bad they don’t come in ebooks. This might be the book(s) that tip me to the dark side.

    I might16 if I had $1600 to spare.

  6. 6
    TracyS says:

    I’d love that regional dictionary. I love all the different ways people in our country say things.  Even in my own family we have that. My hubs is from MN and I’m from WI. Our kids don’t know if it’s soda or pop if Aunt should be pronounced “ant” or “ahnt” LOL

    Also, SE WI has a fun quirky thing~we say “bubbler” for drinking fountain.  There is actually a fascinating (to me anyway!!) reason for that.  You know how we use brand names to describe things sometimes (Kleenex for tissue, Band-Aid for Bandages). Well, Kohler made the first drinking fountains and the brand name was “Bubbler” and since the Kohler company is in WI the brand name stuck, but only here apparently! LOL

  7. 7
    Scrin says:

    When I took an anthropology class, one day the professor put on a video called “American Tongues,” about the variety of accents in America. It was fun to watch and listen to, to say the least.

    Somewhere around here, I have the Dixie Dictionary, which is pretty much about expressions around the South…

  8. 8
    Tina C. says:

    Silver James wrote:

    Too bad they don’t come in ebooks. This might be the book(s) that tip me to the dark side.

    The article did say that the dictionary will go digital.  I don’t know if that means that there will be a fee to access it or if all (or part) of it will be free, but we should be able to access it just by going online before too long.  (I can see myself wasting many an hour there just reading about all the different words that we use in various places.)

    TracyS wrote:

    I love all the different ways people in our country say things.  Even in my own family we have that.

    Around here (Kentucky), a carbonated soft drink is usually a pop but I have always said “soda”, even though I grew up here.  I think it’s probably because my mother was from Northwestern Illinois.  Of course, she also sat on a “davenport” instead of a couch and I would never say that, so who knows. 

    The one that kills me that I’ve caught myself saying (and instantly corrected) is “boughten” (as in some sort of weird past-past-tense for “bought”).  It was “boughten”.  I “boughten” it.  I thought I was just mis-speaking for a while until I found myself hearing other people around here saying it.  Now I realize that I’ve subconsciously assimilated it into my speech.  ARGH!

  9. 9
    Tina C. says:

    From the article:

    and doctors who know firsthand that dialect variation can have a real effect on treatment…

    This reminded me of when I was in tech school in the Air Force.  A friend and I had played frisbee in the park over a particularly pretty weekend and I picked up chiggers.  The doctor at the base clinic had not a single clue what I was talking about when I went in to get something for the itching.

    “Chiggers?  What’s a chigger?”

    “You know—little bitty bugs that burrow under your skin and cause you to get small bumps and itch like crazy?”

    “Fleas?”

    “No, a flea is a flea.  It bites you.  It goes away.  Chiggers stay until you get something to suffocate them.  Chiggers. I can just buy some nail polish and suffocate them, but I figured you’d have something that did the same thing that I didn’t have to buy.”

    “Well, it doesn’t look like scabbies”

    “Because it’s not.  It’s chiggers.  Where are you from, anyway?”

    “Is this a Southern thing?”

    SIGH  “Considering this is Illinois, probably not.  Thanks for your time.”

  10. 10
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    A couple of great dictionary recommendations, especially for those who write historical novels:

    The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (in three volumes; very hard to find, especially hard to find cheap.)

    A Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Captain Grose (no, really!) published around 1811, and a treasure trove of Regency and Georgian slang.

  11. 11
    Lori says:

    as in some sort of weird past-past-tense for “bought”

    I have family members who occasionally use “boughten”.  I’ve always wondered if that worked like the double negative, which would mean that boughten is actually future tense.

  12. 12
    Amanda G says:

    Regional accents and Fabio are all fabulous, but I think the best part of that link might be the Darth Vader theme played on the ukulele and penny whistle, followed closely by out takes from the Thundercats.

  13. 13

    Wow, a multi-national corporation turns a profit in one of the worst downturns in recent history and your response is to… bodice rippers? R

    I love how the woman in the accompanying stock photo is reading in a darkened room in a little nightie, too. She needs bon-bons and maybe a tub of Calgon.

    What I hate most is that the label “bodice-ripper” is that it’s cliched, lazy writing. It calls to mind a whole host of romance reader and writer stereotypes so that the author doesn’t have to bother trying to determine who those people really are.

    Anyhow, names really matter. The label “pulp fiction” was something “serious” writers ran from. Once it stopped being automatically applied to a wide range of genres (science & detective fiction, among others) those genres made huge gains in respectability, for both authors and readers.

  14. 14
    Cate says:

    The Pittsburgh dialect is fascinating – I just love listening to people talk around here. Sometimes I wish I had a strong dialect connection to where I grew up (New Jersey), but I guess in some ways I probably do and I just don’t notice it.

    I got so jealous reading Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue and hearing about all kinds of dialect studies where people just go and observe and take notes. That sounds fabulous! How can I get a PhD in listening… :)

  15. 15

    Going to take that info about Harlequin being one of the “winners” and put it aside for the next time someone there uses the “but, but, but THE ECONOMY!” line on me.

  16. 16
    CourtneyLee says:

    Please, Harlequin, can you do a novella series wherein each and every heroine has a bodice ripped, but NOT IN THAT WAY, if you know what I mean? I would be so amused!

    Hey, maybe you can host a contest: funniest non-sexual bodice ripping scene of 500 words or less. LOL

    french63—I speak that! I wonder if “bodice ripper” would translate?

  17. 17
    Dakota Flint says:

    I think the best line, for me anyways, from that article on the DARE is:

    snowpocalyptic wasteland like the ice planet Hoth, Buffalo, New York

    Ha! Wasteland, indeed. Though the other day we had beautiful sunshine. True, it was so cold it hurt to breathe, but it was sunny. *g*

  18. 18
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    The one that kills me that I’ve caught myself saying (and instantly corrected) is “boughten” (as in some sort of weird past-past-tense for “bought”).  It was “boughten”.  I “boughten” it.

    I remember seeing this word in (I think) Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books.  It was always used as an adjective (i.e. a “boughten” dress as opposed to a homemade one.)  I’ve never heard it used as past tense of “bought”, and had no idea it was still in use; I always thought it was kind of quaintly archaic.

  19. 19
    Tina C. says:

    I’ve never heard it used as past tense of “bought”, and had no idea it was still in use; I always thought it was kind of quaintly archaic.

    You know, I read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books when I was a kid and I didn’t remember that the word was in there.  It’s interesting that it was once used as an adjective like that.

    As for the way it’s used here, it has been nagging at me since I wrote it down because I was trying to remember the exact context that I usually hear it.  I just realized that it’s used conditionally.  For example:  “If we’d had enough money, we would have boughten more.”  or “I like the blue one, but if I could have, I would have boughten it in red.” or “I could have boughten more if I’d wanted to, but I didn’t really like the way most of them looked.”  Now, I know it’s supposed to be “bought” in all of those instances, but it must be common enough around here that I don’t notice it all that often or else I wouldn’t be catching myself and my daughter saying it that way, right?

  20. 20

    I remember seeing this word in (I think) Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books.  It was always used as an adjective (i.e. a “boughten” dress as opposed to a homemade one.)

    I was sure I remembered the word in Almanzo’s voice, and I indeed found it in Farmer Boy. I was laboriously flipping through my silly paper copy when I remembered there is an Internet. Google Book Search FTW.

    “But this Sunday morning he was wearing a store-boughten cap. It was made of plaid cloth, machine-woven, and it had ear-flaps that buttoned under the chin…”

  21. 21
    Rox says:

    My mother used to catch me using “costed” as the past tense of cost.  “That costed a lot of money.”

    Very irritating, that use of “bodice ripper.”  If they used any other 30+ year old cultural reference when discussing current popular culture would they get away with it?  Could they reference Pong in an article about current video games?  Or discuss sit com characters by comparing them to Horshack?  Has Harlequin ever sold a romance that could have been considered a bodice ripper, even at the time when they were the mainstay of historical romances?

  22. 22
    amy lane says:

    I WANTS that dictionary… (iss mine, precious…iss mine… my present… for me, precoius…yesssssss) 

    Urgh… maybe we could coin another word for the people who call romance novels ‘bodice rippers’… 

    “So, are you reading a bodice ripper?”

    “You know, that’s a term only splash-pants use!”  (Do I know what a splash-pant is?  No.  But if you’ve got a better term that conveys complete loser-dom coupled with a lack of originality, empathy, and common sense, I’ll take it!)

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