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]ra.msstate.edu)