Small Town Speak

Seven years ago, my parents moved to a small town up North.  I love it up there.  I’ve always said that and I mean it.  I love the fresh air, the friendliness of the community, the absence of big box stores (for the most part).  I savour the fresh air and being by the water.  I like that every time I come up, my parents see fit to inform me on all of the new things that have happened in town (i.e., new restaurants, a changed store sign and sometimes some small town political rift).

I am up visiting right now and my Mom and I had to go to a store today to return an item.  As usual we walked in and my Mom immediately struck up a conversation with the clerk:

“You probably don’t remember me.”

“Of course I do!”

This sure doesn’t happen down in the big city.  It was something else though…something that, if I ever lived here, could still not pull off and something that indeed only occurs in small towns.  We completed the return and as we left the store, the clerk called after us:

“See ya’s later!”

Ummm…now, I know I’m a bit of a stickler for grammar but the amazing thing about this was that this person made the phrase sound perfectly normal to my ears.  Even with a lot of practice, I know I would still be unable to pull that off and make it roll off the tongue like this person did.  My next thought was:  How does one respond to such a phrase? I suppose these would be some appropriate responses:

“No, I’ll see YOU’S later”

“You mean, see ya’s later alligators”  This one would then be followed by the person in turn responding “After awhiles crocodiles”

“Ok, I’se will”



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