Date: Thu, 8 Jun 1995 05:43:07 -0500

From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU

Subject: Re: "over there" -- where?

If I think about this any more, I'll never be sure. My first

reaction is that I would use "over there" only for Europe and Asia (any

part). Mexico and Latin America for me are "down there" and Canada is "up

there." But cities or towns here in Vermont can be "over there."

My usage is very much like yours. Of the choices on Tim's list, I would

use "over" with Europe and Asia only. On first glance, that seems to

suggest that "over" requires an ocean. However, I might also go "over

to Tuscaloosa." The greater the distance within this country, the less

likely I would be to use "over." I might go "over to Atlanta," although

that seems to suggest that I consider a five-six-hour drive a pretty casual

event. Interestingly, I don't think I'd use "over" with any town west of

here, although I *might* use it for a town just one state away -- e.g.,

I *might* go "over to Shreveport." I would definitely not go "over to

Dallas." If I felt compelled to throw in another word (rather than just

going "to Dallas," it would be "out to Dallas"). I would never use "over"

to go up or down the map -- unless an ocean with a large east-west segment

is also involved.

I find "out" interesting in this context also. I've noticed that a friend

of mine in New England says sometimes that her son in Seattle is coming

"out to Rhode Island." That strikes me as backwards. To me, somebody in

New England can go "out to Seattle" (or anywhere in the west), but somebody

in the west cannot go "out to" somewhere in the east. My New England "out

to Rhode Island" friend is originally from California, btw.

--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]