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A CALI VACAY
June 12, 2014
Maybe it's all the senior facilities I've been visiting lately that have made me an old poop (though actually the residents in those facilities are all quite pleasant).
Or maybe I've just become a cranky old lady.
I am seeing more and more people claiming to have lived in "Cali" all of their lives or who plan to move to "Cali" or who want to vacation in "Cali." An immigration reform spot on TV starts with a girl saying "I'm a Cali Girl"
It's California, people! "Cali" is as much fingers on a chalkboard to this California native as the phrase "Frisco," which is also used often, especially by people coming to vacation here, not live here. I suspect people living here get the indoctrination pretty quickly if they attempt to use that "Frisco" word. It was anathema to Pulitzer award winning SF Chronicle columnist Herb Caen. Caen was adamant that no one call his fair city (though he was actually from Sacramento) such an odious name, but instead, "Caress each Spanish syllable, salute our Italian saint. Don't say Frisco and don't say San-Fran-Cis-Co," he advised. "It's more like SanfrnSISco."
Besides, Frisco is the name of a REAL town. At least two of them, in fact. One in Colorado and one in Texas. We are neither Colorado, nor are we Texas!
And what's with this "vacay" business? Has internet shorthand so inured us to shortened words that not only do we no longer text words (LOL, FWIW, BRB, and a host of others) because they are too cumbersome to type onto a cell phone that we are now also too lazy to use full words when we speak? Is "vacation" such a difficult word to pronounce, using all of its syllables, that we have to shorten it to "vacay" ?
Maybe this shortened way of speaking is older than I realize. Remember the lyrics to "Just You Wait" from My Fair Lady?
Maybe it's just a product of your time and what you grew up with. Eliza felt she had had to visit St. James' park often enough to earn the right to call it by its more familiar colloquial name.
I think I resent the less formal "Cali" because newcomers to the state haven't earned the right to be that familiar with the grand old state in which I grew up.
Same with "Frisco." I suspect that as more and more people flood San Francisco and us old poops die off and Herb Caen becomes forgotten, the term "Frisco" will become acceptable, but never to me. I'm a confirmed old curmudgeon and determined to remain so.
I am also angry with Rachel Ray, who introduced the world to the "sammie," which is just entirely too cutesy for me to ever order one or talk about it. I'll take a sandwich, please.
I think back on my time in SF and remember that we always called St. Vincent de Paul Church SVDP. And, of course, the faithful never say Gilbert & Sullivan. It's always G&S. That's how you know you're part of the "family." Maybe that's not so different from Cali or Frisco...just that different things grate differently on different ears, I guess.
But I'm not going to vacay anywhere and I certainly am not a Cali native and when I order lunch, it will be a sandwich, thankyouverymuch. I'm a curmudgeonly California native, and proud of it. And pardon me if I cringe when you tell me you are going to vacay in Cali....or Frisco (shudder).
(There is hope. My spell check did not recognize Cali, Frisco, vacay, or sammie. A small victory)
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Lacie has started pre-school
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