Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 13:59:55 -0500

From: Larry Horn laurence.horn[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALE.EDU

Subject: Re: All-America teams

Beverly Flanigan wrote,

"I vas dere, Charley"--wow, that's a real oldie, one my mother (b.

1906) used. Note that she, a Minnesotan, always said 'vas,' not 'was,'

and the 's' was unvoiced. (She was obviously imitating a phrase she'd

heard, but where did it come from?)

Actually, I only realized after reading my posted message that I had typed

"was" rather than the obviously correct "vas", which my mind's ear somehow

hears as an unstressed "fuss", German-style. And if anything the

second-person interrogative is (or was) even more frequent: "Vas [fuss]

you dere, Charley?"

Larry (not a native speaker of the relevant dialect, but a native hearer of

the expression)