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(CHAT) funny linguistic subway experience some questionsaboutnouns of days and months

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Saturday, December 2, 2000, 0:25
(A good chance to experiment; this msg. is in what MS Outlook calls
"Western" charset.)

BP Jonsson wrote:

>At 19:13 2000-11-30 -0500, Yoon Ha Lee wrote: > >>Huh--now that I think about it, that's true! :-) I've also known >>military personnel in Korea to refer to going back to the U.S./home as >>"going stateside" but haven't heard that used elsewhere. Probably my >>sample (i.e. lousy). > >I heard US military people use that expression in Iceland. We lost one of >one of the best pub bands in town because a key member was "going
stateside".> The expression is quite correct and standard. But not very inventive: My comrades-in-arms in Vietnam (1958-9) used to refer to "(going back to) the land of the Big PX". For those not familiar: a PX (Post Exchange) is the store on a military base where one buys non-military/optional necessities, like cigarettes, toiletries, civilian clothes et al.). The Navy calls them Ships Stores. Overseas, they also cater to Embassy personnel, and in Saigon at least, they sold canned foods, radios, records etc. etc., more or less a supermarket + K-Mart. Everything is cheap, because there are no taxes, and presumably little mark-up. In 1958 Saigon, with abundant local markets (including an Alimentation Générale), several excellent French, not to mention Chinese and Vietnamese, restaurants, you had to be pretty paranoid to live on canned peas or pineapple, Franco-American Spaghetti or Franks'n'beans. The fanciest French restaurant even had a snack-bar where you could get an excellent hamburger and milk-shake. IIRC it's mentioned in G.Greene's "The Quiet American".