Saturday, February 04, 2012

I'm probably alone in this, but...

I'm often confused by people who speak of cities and locations by saying "Down in" or "Up in" and then geographically get the location wrong from where they are at that point in time. I recently had a conversation with someone who lives far north of Scotland and we were just talking weather, when someone else said "We've got snow up in Manchester!" and My mind has to think; where? Because Manchester is south of Scotland. She should say "Down in Manchester". The other person knew she was speaking to northerners (OK, I'm not northern but the person leadin the conversation was), but deferred to "Up in"

I Live pretty far south globally, really any more south is Tasmania and then the Antarctic. I would say "Up in" for most places "Up in Brisbane they have floods" "Up in Darwin they have too many crocs" "Up in Japan they love fish" that kind of thing. I can pretty much defer to to "Up in" all the time, but I still say "Over in Perth"
"Over in New Zealand," I even get the rare ability to say "Back in America" because I'm originally from there. I can do that. I can even say "Back in Scotland," but not "Back in France," because I don't feel I have the right to as I've only had a brief holiday there once.

Locally I would place myself as center and then say other locations as up from, over in and down in in relation to where I am. I know that must mean I know roughly where I am in location to these other places but for me it's important to differentiate. Not just say "Up in" when the place you're talking about is south of you. I think "Over in" is a good get out phrase if you don't know where the place you're describing is in relation to where you are at the time of the conversation. It's not like we'd ever say "Under in," now is it?

Yes, I have the compass app on my phone. Yes I've used it for this purpose.

I'm just saying, as I swig my first cup of coffee before a Sunday laden with chores before a busy week, people who say "Up in" when they're really "Down in" should stop acting all superior. OK... Maybe it's not superior - that's a grumpy morning, pre-coffee, stretch perhaps. I suppose the real superior take would be "We in." Doesn't that make an unctuously smug comment? "We are not amused" the speaking for all thing is the exclusive to the Queen. As Thatcher found out.

It's one of those things that bugs me that I can't tell others about because they'll think I'm a crazy person!!


Beth said...

Omigah, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!! That drives me CRAZY, and anytime you try to correct someone, they look at you like you're insane to hold on to the ridiculous belief that these words should mean anything. I am in Chicago, so there is no such thing as "up in Indy", people! And when I visit Kentucky, there is no such thing as "down in Chicago", unless there's a Chicago, Georgia. Only people in Wisconsin and Michigan and like Canada can refer to my home as "down", okay? And if in doubt, please just say "over". Over in New York and over in Denver and over in Philly and down in Florida and up in Minnesota. THAT'S HOW IT WORKS. Why don't people understand???

You have obviously hit on one of my peeves, and I have had my coffee and it's midday, even. I suspect there are so many people who do not think in directional terms because there are lots of people who just don't have themselves on a mental map at all times. I do. I freak out if I can't figure out if I'm north south east or west, it's like essential to mental health or something.

Anyway. Hi!

Lyvvie said...

Kindred Spirit!

Rox said...

High five! I hate it too! I mean, if you don't know where you are in relation to another place, that's one thing, but seriously, who doesn't know up from down?!

(She said smugly from Canada, where most places are down from!)

Rena said...

I'm with you! However, I make one exception... If the location of the speaker is north of the location being spoken of, but the latter location is higher in elevation (such as a cabin in the mountains), I find it acceptable to say, "up at X."

Lyvvie said...

If I ever find myself in that particular situation I will absolutely follow that advice. Because being UP a mountain would count as "Up in"...yeah. I can get that.

I'm so happy I'm not alone in this, I was truly concerned I was being a nitpicky bitch.