You Said It Wrong, Son

, , , , , | Right | October 11, 2017

(Granted, southern people tend to blur words together or pronounce them differently, but this one takes the cake. It is busy at this time at the library; we have just finished our story hour we have every week for preschoolers, so there’s a ton of people at the desk waiting to be checked out. A grandmother comes up to my desk to check out books for her grandson.)

Grandmother: *sweetly* “Do I have anything else out?”

Me: “Just one called The Son, by Philipp Meyer.”

Grandmother: *suddenly irate* “I’ve never checked that out!”

(I go through the spiel about her double-checking at home to make sure she really doesn’t have it there, and I offer to check upstairs on the bookshelf for it and call her later since we are so busy.)

Grandmother: “Go check. Now.”

(I am irritated because there are lines of people and she’s being so rude, but I know she probably left it at home. Most patrons who claim to have never checked out a particular book really do have it somewhere. While upstairs, I overhear a coworker ask her if she is being helped. She says yes in a snippy tone, pointing upstairs to me, but asks my coworker for the name of the book again.)

Coworker: “It’s The Son, by Philipp Meyer.”

Grandmother: “How’s it spelled?”

Coworker: “M-e-y-“

Grandmother: “No, the title.”

Coworker: “S-o-n.”

Grandmother: “Oh! I thought she meant The Sun, kinda like the one in the sky. Oh, yeah, I still have that at home by the bed.”

(With that, she left. I wondered how different I said “son” from “sun,” seeing as we’re both from the same Deep South town.)

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