When I was a kid I had a babysitter that moved from our home state to somewhere out East. Once she arrived she wrote a couple times and told me how she was settling in.  I enjoyed hearing about the little things that were different out there in the exotic land of Maryland.

There was one thing that sounded especially silly to me, as only an eight year old exposed to something different than he's used to can understand.  Those crazy people sat on toboggans and coasted down snowy hills, but instead of calling it sledding they called it SLIDING!

Why would you refer to an activity by what you were doing instead of the vehicle you were doing it on?  Maybe they didn't get as much snow as we did and they just didn't know any better, those poor souls.

Then it hit me - normally when you travel you do refer to the verb, the action of what you're doing.  You don't typically verbify the object that your riding on.  I never go car-ing or airplane-ing.  Could it be that WE Wisconsinites are wrong and those people Not From Here are right?  When an unsettling idea.

Then again, I thought, you do go boating . . .  Ah, I felt vindicated.  Perhaps those people in Maryland are clueless after all.

AuthorTodd Zarwell