Saturday, July 29, 2017

Learning to Talk ("Tawk") Like a New Yorker

I grew up on Staten Island. Now I gather that some folks grew up "in" Staten Island but grammatically that would make them a worm or gopher but I gather one must leave Grammar behind in the new Century. Now in my Senior Year of Secondary School after the Christmas break since I had already gotten into college, had my scholarships etc. I began to get a bit reckless. My father, in order to see that I stayed the straight and narrow decided I need some focusing. Now to put this in context my father was in the NYPD Youth Division and my degree of reckless behavior amounted to what today would probably make one a Saint, especially under the current management back in Rome, but I digress.

Thus my father with the agreement of the Headmaster sent me for the month of January to the NY Department of Sanitation, the Garbage folks for simplicity. Thus each day I arose at 4 AM and got the 110 Bus to another bus, and then to the NYDS garage with some 40-50 other folks. My first day I forgot my long underwear and wore chinos. It was 20 F and snowing. Needless to say I soon learned that looking "cool" was not an option.

Then out to shovel snow and collect trash. Twelve hours a day, from 6AM to 6PM, with an hour for lunch at some greasy spoon diner. I brought my own peanut butter sandwich.

What did I learn? The first was the use of the most famous profanity in New York, the one making the rounds in the current White House. After 4 years of Latin, through Virgil, I knew Grammar but I have never seen a single word which could be a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, gerund, preposition, etc ever. But I learned its usage like a pro. It made me a member of Good Fellas, I could F word with the best.

Now back to Virgil in February I learned several things. First, do not try these words out in Virgil, and do not try them in Chaucer, you see after Latin was Middle English. Where could I use my new found language. I had a good hold of street Spanish, Italian, academic French, and Latin, a smattering of classic Greek, but my Sanitation Department linguistic capabilities were homeless.

But alas, they now have a home! Doors have been opened by the literati in DC, by the very political lights that leads us forward. I have my skills fine tuned to take on any position in Government!