I’m inviting you (or, at least, a Flat Stanley version of you) to come on our next adventure, happening in just a few short weeks! It’s one of our bucket list items and I think you might enjoy seeing your head on a travel-size cut-out in front of what we’re going to see. You have until Sunday night to enter (details at the end of this post).
Moving around when I was little, and then again from my late teens onward, I’ve always had a habit of adopting the expressions (and sometimes accent) of wherever I live. My mom used to tell me of the earliest instances of this. I was between three and four years old, and we had moved to a trailer park in Oneco, Florida, near one of my dad’s construction jobs. I picked up the expression “very well” from a neighbor girl and used it several times per sentence as I was trying to figure out its appropriate placement. Mom was apparently sick of the phrase before we moved back to Pennsylvania.
For the years Dad was still around I was fluent in understanding Spanish…at least in terms of fetching beer, cigarettes and ashtrays. I’m pretty sure that hearing a different language at a young age, combined with compulsive mirroring of others, is why new language is relatively easy for me to learn and speak, and I now pronounce “banana,” “giraffe” and “zebra” like a Brit or a South African, and why my affinity for using “yebo” instead of “yes,” and my almost nauseating use the words of “rather” and “shame” has Kurt cringing when I talk.
My mom lived in North Dakota for about twelve years, and although I was already in college and only went for visits, I picked up local phrases and accents there as well, including the common “Wanna come with…?.
I don’t have a problem ending sentences with a preposition. That was only a preference by poet John Dryden anyway, and eventually it stuck and became “the rule.” It’s annoying and doesn’t fit modern speech. For example, if you say: “From whom is this gift?” instead of “Hey! Who’s this gift from?” you’ll most likely get an eyeroll, possibly a punch, and maybe have that gift rescinded.
But there is something more to the way North Dakota and parts of the sprawled Scandinavian influence down through the Great Lakes and midwest area end sentences. It’s not the prepositions, it’s that they don’t actually end…
“Wanna’ come with…?” is a common invitational question in North Dakota. They don’t use the “me” or “us” at the end, because it’s implied. I personally think this is also the result of the Scandanavian language influence, but I don’t know enough about that to say for certain. Any true linguists out there want to tackle that question?
So, while it’s implied, and understood, it can create a compulsive need in the person hearing it to want to end the sentence.
But to the point: Wanna come with…?
I hope you do wanna come with us. We have room for one more “Flat Stanley” on this journey, and I hope it’s you.
ENTER TO WIN A FLAT STANLEY VERSION OF YOURSELF TO COME ALONG ON OUR ADVENTURE!
Guidelines: Send a photo or poem or other piece on the theme WATER. Anything goes. Be creative!
Email to me: marla at marlasinkdruzgal dot com
Deadline: Sunday, midnight your time
C’mon, guys! You know you wanna come with…
P.S. Did you notice the flags each of my special edition flat travelers are holding? The American flag represents where each winner is from, but the other two flags represent our adventure! Have you guessed yet?