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  #1  
Old 06-12-2009, 05:07 PM
Furious_Marmot Furious_Marmot is offline
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Misuse of 'whenever' instead of 'when'. Common near you?

In the coastal southeastrn US it was very common, 5-10 years ago, to hear 'whenever' used instead of 'when'. Forn example:

"Whenever I was in elementary school, I rode the bus."

"Whenever I took the trash out yesterday, a possum hissed at me."

This seemed to cut across age and social groups. Lately, in the mid-US, I don't hear it at all. Is this a regional thing, or did it just die out?
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2009, 05:12 PM
TheBoltEater TheBoltEater is offline
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I knew someone who grew up in Washington (state) who used to do that, and it always made me think she was a bit slow.... even though I knew she wasn't. Drove me crazy to hear her say it.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2009, 05:15 PM
PaperBlob PaperBlob is offline
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I know a guy from Erie, PA who does this. It drives me nuts! He's the only example I've ever encountered. I've lived my whole life in southern NJ (Philly area), and went to college in Virginia.

Last edited by PaperBlob; 06-12-2009 at 05:17 PM..
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2009, 05:47 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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The person I know who does it grew up in Arkansas.
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2009, 06:03 PM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
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On Whose Line Is It Anyway, Drew Carey always said "Go ahead and start whenever you hear the music." That always annoyed me, and puzzled me too, because he's from Cleveland, and that's not a local usage.
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2009, 06:54 PM
Jragon Jragon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmagirl View Post
On Whose Line Is It Anyway, Drew Carey always said "Go ahead and start whenever you hear the music." That always annoyed me, and puzzled me too, because he's from Cleveland, and that's not a local usage.
I hear a mix around here (Arizona) and use it as well. While the OP's examples would come off as incredibly awkward the quoted example would be equally as awkward with just "when."
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2009, 07:07 PM
Martha Medea Martha Medea is offline
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A friend from Northern Ireland used to do this. Don't know if it was a regionalism or just her.
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2009, 07:13 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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On Whose Line Is It Anyway, Drew Carey always said "Go ahead and start whenever you hear the music." That always annoyed me, and puzzled me too, because he's from Cleveland, and that's not a local usage.
Huh, I'm from Cleveland, too, and that one sounds perfectly natural to me. The OP's examples, though, don't. Is it possible there are two different regionalisms in play here?
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2009, 09:35 PM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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It's very common here (central MS). Seems like I've heard it ever since I can remember (I'm 49).
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2009, 10:50 PM
Xema Xema is online now
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I once rode in a taxicab whose driver said "everwhen" for "whenever" and "everhow" for "however." I was sure I'd misheard him the first couple of times, but it continued through a talkative 20-minute ride.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2009, 11:01 PM
freckafree freckafree is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Huh, I'm from Cleveland, too, and that one sounds perfectly natural to me. The OP's examples, though, don't. Is it possible there are two different regionalisms in play here?
Me, too. According to my dictionary, "whenever" means "at whatever time."
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2009, 11:02 PM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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Originally Posted by Xema View Post
I once rode in a taxicab whose driver said "everwhen" for "whenever" and "everhow" for "however." I was sure I'd misheard him the first couple of times, but it continued through a talkative 20-minute ride.
We get a lot of that, too.
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  #13  
Old 06-13-2009, 09:08 AM
seosamh seosamh is offline
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Originally Posted by Martha Medea View Post
A friend from Northern Ireland used to do this. Don't know if it was a regionalism or just her.
Yup - it's a fairly common thing in Norn Iron.
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  #14  
Old 06-13-2009, 09:55 AM
Philster Philster is offline
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Originally Posted by PaperBlob View Post
I know a guy from Erie, PA who does this. It drives me nuts! He's the only example I've ever encountered. I've lived my whole life in southern NJ (Philly area), and went to college in Virginia.

Same here. Never heard it. Born and raised in Philly and live in South Jersey now.
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  #15  
Old 06-16-2009, 10:32 AM
An Gadaí An Gadaí is offline
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Originally Posted by seosamh View Post
Yup - it's a fairly common thing in Norn Iron.
Usually preceded by "see".
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  #16  
Old 06-16-2009, 10:41 AM
Crotalus Crotalus is offline
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I know a few people who talk like this. Two are from Pennsylvania but pretty far apart, Pittsburgh and Gettysburg. The others are from the Appalachian part of Ohio.

Add my voice to those who find the Drew Carey quote sounds normal, while the examples in the OP sound messed up.
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  #17  
Old 06-16-2009, 11:28 AM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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Never heard it before.
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  #18  
Old 06-16-2009, 11:36 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I have a good friend who does this. He's from Pittsburgh.
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  #19  
Old 06-16-2009, 02:00 PM
JustThinkin' JustThinkin' is offline
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Very prevalent in southern Indiana where I lived for a year and a half when I was younger. Drove me crazy.

I once tagged a new acquaintance --- after some conversation, I asked him if he was from southern Indiana (based on "whenever" use). He looked completely shocked and admitted he was from S. Illinois, just across the border from Indiana. He'd worked hard to lose his southern accent, but that gave him away.
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  #20  
Old 06-16-2009, 03:16 PM
Furious_Marmot Furious_Marmot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crotalus View Post
I know a few people who talk like this. Two are from Pennsylvania but pretty far apart, Pittsburgh and Gettysburg. The others are from the Appalachian part of Ohio.

Add my voice to those who find the Drew Carey quote sounds normal, while the examples in the OP sound messed up.
It sounds pretty messed up to me too, so much so that when I moved to the South I pointed it out to visiting family members, who also thought it sounded strange.

To be clear, I'm not talking about 'at a particular, but indefinite time', as in the Drew Carey quote

Nor do I mean 'at any such time', as in "At the supermarket, whenever a truck comes in, everybody pitches in to unload it."

I'm talking about cases that indicate an unambiguous time, as in "Whenever my Aunt Elaine moved to Arizona, we helped pack her stuff."
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  #21  
Old 06-16-2009, 09:35 PM
QuercusMax QuercusMax is offline
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Originally Posted by acsenray View Post
I have a good friend who does this. He's from Pittsburgh.
I have a coworker who does this, who is from Pittsburgh. (I'm in Cleveland).
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  #22  
Old 06-16-2009, 11:10 PM
Nzinga, Seated Nzinga, Seated is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmagirl View Post
On Whose Line Is It Anyway, Drew Carey always said "Go ahead and start whenever you hear the music." That always annoyed me, and puzzled me too, because he's from Cleveland, and that's not a local usage.
Yeah, while this sounds completely normal to me, the examples quoted in the OP would have me looking at someone as if they just started babbling incoherently.
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