Date: Thu, 8 Jun 1995 11:54:27 -0800 From: Scott Schwenter Subject: Re: over there--why? >I asked for this information because Chicano English speakers in >Sterling, Illinois routinely refer to Mexico as "over there." I didn't >think any non-hispanics had this usage, but I wanted to be sure. >11 people more or less agreed that "over there" would mean only Europe, >mainly Asia. Tom Clark confirmed what I suspected, that "over there" for >Mexico is a SW usage. Funny thing is, none of my informants have TxMex >ancestry; all are children of Mexican immigrants, presumably learned >ENglish in Illinois. As an undergrad, I worked summers as an interpreter at a health clinic in Michigan for migrant workers, most of whom came from the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas. Although it was often difficult to tell if their use of "over there" referred to Texas or Mexico (they often gave addresses in Brownsville, but actually lived in Mexico), other times it was clear, especially when comparing the health services in MI with the ones "over there", meaning the migrant clinics in the Rio Grande Valley. Some of these workers were born in Mexico, others in the US. Before I heard this, however, I had no sense of "over there" was (I grew up in MI). Scott Schwenter