Eighty Four, PA

There was an old monk whom I’d see on a daily basis back, oh, thirty some odd years ago. We’d have a similar encounter each and every day. For me it was repetitive; for him each exchange was brand new. He was familiar with Western Pennsylvania, my home region, and he somehow knew about Eighty Four, PA, which was not far at all from my hometown, Canonsburg, PA. Not surprisingly, the headquarters of 84 Lumbar is located right there in Eighty Four, PA.

At any rate, every time I’d see this old buck, the conversation went one of two ways. Half the time it went as illustrated below. When it didn’t go that way, he’d ask me if I was from Canonsburg. I’d say yes. Then he’d say: “I was just talking to a guy from Canonsburg.”

Breaking News: Sociolinguists Found Using Fracking Techniques to Exploit Local Yinz Phenomenon in Western Pennsylvania

Investigators from portfoliolongo.com have uncovered a clandestine, sociolinguistic fracking operation in an undisclosed town in Western Pennsylvania. According to an on-site project manager who asked not to be identified, “These new mining techniques have allowed us to approach the yinz phenomenon from the bottom up!” Our informant admitted that this type of research cannot be conducted without undesirable consequences, however, “you’d have to be a total jaggoff not to recognize that the means justify the end here. There’s big money in yinz nowadays!”  The so-called yinz phenomenon is the local practice, based on Germanic influences, of adding both an /ęn/ and an /ës/ or /êz/ sound to the end of the 3rd-person-singular, nominative and objective case pronoun, you for purposes of pluralization, not unlike y’all in the South. Examples include: “Are yinz goin’ to Kennywood Park?” “Did some’a-yinz eat or all’a’yinz?” “Is that yinz’s car?” Acceptance has been growing in recent years, and consequently the market value of yinz has skyrocketed. Researchers have identified and, in some cases, tapped into abundant reserves of deep structure yinz (DSY) and structurally-related variations, like DSY-2 or yunz-2 and DSY-3 or yenz-3.  “It’s not such a big deal?” opined the project manager, “Everybody knows you make child plural by sayin’, children, there’s your plural. These folks simply add an /s/ on top of that for good measure, like icing on the cake! There’s your yinz, and hey, we’re finally tapping into that.”