Adelphia subjecting entire nation to their Pennsylvania dialect

You know how in threads about regional variations in American English, someone always brings up the Mid-Atlantic expression "needs "+ /past participle/, as in “The car needs washed”.

Believe it or not, Adelphia, whose home office is the Pennsylvania town of Coudersport, actually uses this language on their website, and if I hadn’t read about it on the Dope, I would not be able to understand it. If you go to their Contact form, and click on “Cable TV Support” for the subject, one of the description choices is “Cable Line Needs Buried!”

And they say there are no dialects anymore! :slight_smile:

What a horrible perversion of language. I vote for immediately ejecting Pennsylvania from the Union.

Ahh, the “vanishing infinitive”. We love it here, and don’t you dare correct us.

I knew a guy from Pennsylvania who pronounced it “wooshed.” He “wooshed” his car.

With wooter, no doubt.

Horrible perversion? :mad: Watch it, or me and my posse of linguists will come over and make you read Labov 'till your head hurts.

Augh! Not Labov! flees

I drove from Arkansas to New Hampshire several years ago, and the only place where I couldn’t understand a damn thing someone said was in Pennsalvania.

I walked into a gas staion and said, “Ten dollars on number five”.
He said “hunga wunga gunga.”
I froze.“Pardon?”
“hunga wunga gunga.”
I laid a ten spot down on the counter and smiled.
He smiled.
I slowly backed out the door.

That’s warter, if you please. :smiley:

Or in my native stomping grounds near Philadelphia, it’s wudder. :smiley:

The “T”'s slient, don’t cha know?

Is this a recent thing? I was born in NE PA (Erie) in 1969, learned to speak there, lived there until 1980, but that construct sounds horribly wrong to my ears.

Warter’s for warshing, BTW.

I have a cousin who warshes the dishes in the zinc.

I have no idea where that accent comes from. We’re both from the same area, although she’s probably 25 years older.

Yinz makin’ fun a’da way wez talkin’ an at? Get outta tahn!!!

Ya’ll ever work in a gas station in Eastern Pennsalvania?


(thinks) (thinks hard) I use that construction. Right now, my car definitely needs washed (so do the dishes). I always thought it was an Indiana thing. But… I was born in Pittsburgh.

Is it really so marked?

YES. My friend and former roommate does this, even though she is not only not from PA, she has never been to PA, and is, in fact, from the opposite side of the country. I found it terribly odd that she talked like this - until I learned that her mother’s family is originally from Pittsburgh.

Suddenly, everything makes sense. Crazy Pennsylvanians. And what’s with the dots on the freeways? What happens if you don’t keep five dots between you and the car in front of you? Say, what if you’re three dots apart? Is that a ticketable offence?

Eastern PA has their own strange pronunciations which add syllables.
ath-a-lete, one skilled at sporting events
fill-um, the black and white or color media used for recording photographic images
Ack-a-me, a supermarket chain, spelled identically to the supplier of Wile E. Coyote

Central PA engages in the issue addressed by the OP.
We’ll soon be there.
Throw the horse over the fence some hay.
Smear me all over with jelly a piece of bread.

As for Western PA, no one could say it better than Guinastasia. :wink:

They’re called Bots Dots. Not invented here. I saw them in New York, New Jersey, and down south before they came to PA, and there’s nothing in the vehicle code about dot spacing=citation. :wink:

Huh. I use that too, and I’m from the south. Never even been to that corner of the US. (Well, dammit, I have, but it was just for a connecting flight. )

I, too, use that, and I am from Indiana.