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26 April 2017


Ha! This is so true. I have a favorite passage from Lois McMaster Bujold's CAPTAIN VORPATRIL'S ALLIANCE (she's also a Midwesterner; born & bred in Ohio & now living in Minnesota) that captures this perfectly:

Tej tossed her head. "That's what people say about some dodgy dish that doesn't quite work. Whitefish and raspberries."
Another (but I can't remember whose book it's from) has the mother asking her daughter's male friend his opinion:
"Interesting," he said cautiously.
She winced. "Oh dear, we know what that means."

Oh my, I may have to read this.

There is also the ultimate condemnation of "something." As in, "How did you like the techno concert?" "Well, that was quite something."

Of course, nobody can top the infinite tonal variations of "Bless his/her heart" from a Southerner.


(Just kidding.)

I am pretty passive aggressive myself. I was raised on the West Coast but both parents are from the Midwest. My mom, when she couldn’t say “NO” but really didn’t want to say “YES” to a request when we were kids would sigh, “I suppose”. This used to drive me crazy as a teenager.

I can quite honestly say I've never really wanted to read Bujold before, but now I kinda do! Thanks! (I also totally want to make "Dodgy Dish" my, ahem, stage name.)

Yeah, I liked it. It was no big comprehensive or scholarly thing, but that probably added to its appeal. I took it back to the library already but am kind of regretting not reading the section about the "midlands." There was a whole bit about Pittsburgh, I know that.

"Something," tee hee. It's a pity I've not known more Southerners; I'd love to hear the spin they can put on "bless their heart"!

CR Fan,
Yes, this blog is different, isn't it? :)

Well, in truth, I think most humans have more than a passing acquaintance with passive aggressiveness. We are living in a society, after all, and I'll still take passive aggression over, you know, armed conflict any day.

I haven't yet sighed "I suppose" but I do tell the CRjrs "Um...we could talk about that." And then I disappear and try very hard to avoid the subject. I'm sure many things like that will drive them crazy as teenagers. And of course I am not opposed to saying no a lot. Helps in parenting to be contrarian by nature, right?

Oh, do read Bujold. I love her sf take on women, and motherhood, and growing older. If you're into fantasy, PALADIN OF SOULS is my favorite (second in a series, but you can start there); if you want to try her sf, her very first SHARDS OF HONOR features a middle aged woman as the protagonist; or ETHAN OF ATHOS (another favorite) features an obstetrician on a fanatically religious all male planet (trust me, it works)

Although I bet you'd love best her short short story about a busy stay at home mom who receives an alien device that works as a "remote control" (including a "pause button") on her husband and children...

I just read this in Chapter 8 of Michelle Tea's Black Wave:

“New Englanders were more bitter and resentful than people of other regions. They couldn’t fake it like a Southerner, couldn’t make it passive-aggressive like a Californian." Ha ha.

I will get some Bujold posthaste! I've not been loving anything I've been reading lately so that might make for a nice change--not my usual genre. Thank you!

Tee hee. Funny how once you read about something (regional speech differences) you see that popping up everywhere else, isn't it?

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