Column: It’s still English, right? | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Column: It’s still English, right?

This week marks my second month living in South Lake Tahoe and I’m slowly adjusting. I grew up in Indiana and just graduated from Miami University in Ohio a few months before coming out here.

Becoming a grown-up in the real world is hard enough, but I decided to move thousands of miles away from my family, friends and Midwest culture to a place, that at times, feels like another planet.

I’ve had a lot of fun learning about the fashion, politics and lifestyles that make this scenic spot spectacular. But, I’ve been most intrigued by the loquacious language many locals unleash.



Working with two crazy South Shore gals has given me a crash course in a dialect I had previously only associated with a blond-haired, blue-eyed surfer image of California.

Although the Midwest is light years behind the more in-vogue coasts, I’m starting to slowly assimilate, fighting it every step of the way.




In fact, I almost said I was “stoked” about something the other day, which sounds normal coming from Tahoe twenty-somethings, but is wildly out of place from my conventional cant.

Using the lingo too quickly would make me sound like a Choch in midwestease, but in Tahoe I would be a “poser.”

So I’ve steered clear of morphing into a South Shore socialite, but have spent plenty of time hanging out with the cool crowd, or excuse me, the “sic snowbros.”

Everyone has been so nice to me, helping me out with the language barrier, but sometimes they’re “all like, ya know,” REALLY HARD TO UNDERSTAND!

When I first met my friend Jill I thought she was an evil human being. We were talking about a guy she had a falling-out with and Jill said, “He’s beat.”

I thought, “First, how could Jill have such bad grammar and second, how could she be so insensitive to a boy who had been physically assaulted.”

After hanging out with Jill and her “troops” a little more I discovered beat is synonymous with uncool in the Midwest milieu and her “style” was not “throwin’ knives.”

My first encounter with a pal named Mary was also fascinating. She was a “full-on” native and her interesting idioms were “epic.”

Living in “poverty with a view,” for 13 years, Mary showed me the “trick” taverns to “shoot some stick” and “rage.”

Being “faded” after a night on the town made it even more difficult to understand the complexities of Tahoe talk and slowly I grew “agro.”

So it may take me until the snowboarders can “bag some fresh pow,” that I begin to understand the “dope” things my friends have to say.

“But whatever, I’m over it!!”


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