Friday, December 18, 2009

The Comfort of Language

It's snowing in North Carolina today. It's snowing hard & it's not supposed to stop for awhile. We're good citizens, we pay our taxes (thanks Patti Anne), why do we deserve this?

We went to the post office early today, and the roads were beginning to be covered with slush. I had to put the truck in 4 wheel drive to get out of the driveway, and you had to be careful when you walked.

It's the Christmas season & the post office is a busy place these days. We had to park further away from the front door than usual.

An elderly woman had parked in front of us and was out of her car. When I got out she called me over to her. She asked me if I would take a package up to the counter for her - it was already paid & had an online label on it. I'm very familiar with online labels, since I've printed off about a thousand of them. She was afraid she would slip and fall, and with good reason. That short walk to the post office door was pretty treacherous.

So I went up to the counter and waited for a few minutes while people in front of me did whatever they had to do. I gave the package to the woman behind the counter and explained that an elderly woman had given it to me & why. She replied, "Yes, I've heard it's getting slick out".

Now why would I think about that? It sounds so natural to me, but yet I still think about it. Its because I've lived so many years in the northern realms of the lower 48. Up north, they would have said slippery instead of slick. It would have been duly noted with greater or lesser degrees of mirth, up north, if a person said something like "its slick out".

I can see it now. "Is that really the way youse guys talk?"

Its funny how accents and a choice of words can make a person feel at home. It was, and is, very, very slick out.

5 comments:

Patti Anne said...

That old woman must have thought you were trustworthy looking. I'd think this is still a wonderful small town thing - she never doubted for a moment that you'd take the package into the Post Office. I can never see that happening in NYC, for instance.

Yep, it's slicker than eel snot out there today!

A Valdese Blogger said...

Yep, it's a small town.

Heather said...

That was soo sweet of you!

Here in Texas, "slick" has several different meanings. Mostly it is refered to as cool or sly. I've not heard it being used towards conditions, since I was a kid in Maine.

Thanks for putting my grandpa's face in my head!

A Valdese Blogger said...

Heather: When I was growing up slick also had several connotations, but the most common usage was to describe something that you could slide on. The slides on the playground weren't any good if they weren't slick.

linlah said...

creek with a long E pronounced crick. Depends on where you grow up.