You know how I like to document the cultural differences between life in Long Island/on the East Coast and life elsewhere? Well, I may have mentioned this before on here (Lord knows I talk about it in person enough), but there are a lot of language differences as well.

And I’m not even talking about the accent. (Next time we’re face-to-face, ask me to give you my Erin vs. Aaron schpeel.) I mean the actual language we use to express ourselves.

One popular term you hear on the Island is “jeat?” (Written phonetically…because it’s not a real word and therefore doesn’t have a real spelling.) What this means is: Did you eat? (Shortened to “didja eat?” shortened to “jeat?” Natch.)

Another term you’ll hear here? “Are you on line?”

Now, you may think I just made a grammatical error there. But no, I did not mean “online.” People in Long Island say “on line” instead of “in line.” For example:

Person 1: Are you done shopping?

Person 2: Yeah, I’m going to get on line now.

The first time someone said that to me, I was genuinely confused. You’re going to get on a computer? You’re going to browse the web? BUT WHY?

Once I figured it out, I still didn’t get it. You are not literally standing on top of the line. You are in it. You are a PART of the line.

I could get my new neighbors to understand why I didn’t agree with their terminology, but I couldn’t prove to them that it confused things.

UNTIL NOW.

I met up with my friend Sam for lunch today. I arrived at the eating establishment before he did, so I was standing near the line, but not actually in it. To pass the time, I was perusing Facebook on my phone.

Suddenly, a girl walked in, looked at me and said, “Are you on line?”

CONUNDRUM. Because while I was not standing in/on line, I was ONLINE. Therefore, saying “on line” is confusing and inaccurate.

Ergo, I’m right.

Justine: 1
Long Island: Goose egg.

Oh yeah…I’m going to be real popular here.

3 Responses to I don’t speak Long Islander.

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