A Little Dab’ll Do Ya

I’ve been known to use a bit of sarcasm in conversation.

(I’m going to pause now, to allow time for my friends and co-workers to pick themselves up off the floor. The roaring laughter should end momentarily….)

So when I saw a snippet of an interview quoted in our local newspaper this weekend, I gained some justification insight as to why that might be. A reason, perhaps, for my vernacular condition. It was a quote from one of Fort Wayne’s favorites, Shelley Long.

Now, if you don’t know who Shelley Long is, either you’re too young, or you were living under a rock from 1982 to 1993. She’s most well known for her role as Diane Chambers on the Emmy Award-winning sitcom Cheers. And for the record, she was always my favorite character. Now I understand why.

While I did not see the full interview, a quote of hers jumped out at me. Apparently in some past interview, she’d been advised to cut down on her sarcasm. Shelley replied, “I’ll say, ‘No. I can’t do that. That’s who I am. I’m from Indiana, that’s what we do.’ ”

…from Indiana…that’s what we do…

That explains so much. See, Indiana isn’t exactly the hippest state in the country. We have lots of corn and soybean fields. Lots of churches and conservatives. But we’re not dead, people. It’s just that some of us like to use words for fun instead of bungee cords or surf boards.

As a relatively new writer, my tendencies have carried over into my first novel as well. I entered a fiction writing contest this spring, and had a judge comment that she loved my main character with the “fun, snarky attitude”.

Snarky, by the way, is my new favorite word. It’s also my boss’s favorite word when referring to me now.

So, since Ms. Long brought to light a possible justification reason for my jabbing language behavior, it’s up to me to pay more attention to how often I’m using that snark, or sarcasm, or whatever you want to call it. And to remember to use it sparingly, so the words don’t bite, they just sting a little…

…in a fun, Indiana kind of way.

Because, with well-played sarcasm, a little dab’ll do ya.

Any other Hoosiers out there afflicted by our regional tendencies?


4 thoughts on “A Little Dab’ll Do Ya

  1. I also like the word “snarky” and I will tell you that it’s not a west coast word. I was the first to use it out here after I heard it mentioned online by an east coast friend. Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. My favorite new word is “squee” although I’m not sure it’s in the dictionary. Yet.

    • Thanks, Maria. I have to be honest, “squee” is relatively new to me. The first time I saw it, I thought someone was talking about cleaning windows. And it just didn’t make any sense. LOL Eventually I figured it out. I’ll try to throw one in from time to time, to attract the west coast followers. 😉

  2. Another Hoosier here. I have to admit I’m a little burned out on both “snark” and “squee” just because they’re overused (can you say “awesome”?) I never even thought of Hoosiers as being sarcastic, but I know our speech patterns of sometimes described as “spare,” which goes right along with that “little dab’ll do ya” thing.

    I like your blog, BTW!

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