Date: Wed, 16 Nov 1994 13:02:49 -0500


Subject: hope how soon ...

What a neat question. Several years ago, when I was interviewing in Johnson

County, TN, I recorded the expression twice in one day. I had never either

heard it or seen it, so I was delighted with it. The first time I heard it

was in the morning. I had visited a general store in one corner of the

county, where the owner has invited ,me to visit and record if I wanted to.

It was "check day" so it was busy. Folks were paying their monthly bills and

buying groceries. There had been a bit of a dry spell, and one farmer was

buying corn for his hogs and complaining about having to buy feed. At

pne point, he looked skyward and said, "I hope how soon it rains!"

That evening I attended a birthday dinner for the mother of the owner of

the local (and only county) radio station. She (the mother) lived in a

house what had been refurbished recently. The living room ceiling had been

texturized and sprayed with a paint containing little sparkles of some

sort--I don't know what they are called--and the little sparkles were

occasionally falling on the floor. Someone pointed out to her that they

were falling, and she replied, "I hope how soon they all fall down!"

I have the earlier occurrence on tape, but not the latter, unfortunately.

I'd love to know what other people know about the construction

Johnson CO. is practically in North Carolina, very near West Virginia--and that

area was the first place I interviewed in TN where illiteracy was a routine


Bethany Dumas = dumasb[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] (English, U of TN, Knoxville 37996)