20 responses to “The Best of Alabama

  1. I must be missing something. I’m reading this over and over again and cannot find the spelling error.

  2. “Don’t rare back … this brakes the chairs”?!?!

    I love it.

  3. I just found your blog and I love it!

  4. Umm… and “rare”. I thought you were being facetious, Alexa :-)

  5. Wonderful. Signs like these are horrifying and amusing at the same time. Much like Sarah Palin. Well done America, you chose wisely.

  6. No, Lee, “rare” is the correct usage of the term. It’s a Southern thang.

  7. Ahhhh! “Rare back!” Spelling this correctly would not remove the humour. Not at all.

  8. Alexa – since when has pronunciation mattered in English orthography? ;-)

  9. Okay, how can I submit a picture?! I feel silly for asking, but I’m not very tech-savvy. Trust me, it’s a good ‘un…straight from a Wal-Mart in SC!

  10. I found this hilarious and used it for research in a project I did for this semester’s Advanced Grammar class. Thanks, Kate, for your sense of humor.

  11. The sign about “rare up in the chairs” is great because:

    it contains a regionalism (it’s just a local spelling of “rear up”, reflecting the fact that standard American /i/ and /EI/ have fallen together and make the same sound in Inland Southern) and an unintentional double meaning.

    I mean, the sign is actually accurate.

    Leaning back — or, as they say, raring up — in four-legged chairs most certainly does brake them: it doubles the pressure applied by each of the chair legs on the floor, increasing deformation of both surfaces. Although the force of friction is independent of the contact area (as Coulomb’s law reflects), it is definitely subject to surface deformation. If it weren’t, you couldn’t stop when skiing.

    Since the wedding is in rural Arkansas somewhere, I’m thinking hardwood chair legs — probably nice eastern maple — and readily deformable linoleum flooring. Just try to pull someone across the community-hall floor when they have rared up in a chair! The chair is, truly, well braked.

  12. At least they were consistent. I’d have been more amused if every sign were spelled and worded differently.

    Also, David makes a good point.

  13. I saw a sign next to a stack of tires that read “tarz for sell”

    hee hee

  14. All of Alabama is not rural and none of the state is in Arkansas!The sign was not correct in spelling but, the phrase is a regional one and it is used correctly.
    I saw a building with “Sandwitches” painted on the side in a rural Alabama town off I-65. It has been there for years and everyone knows it is spelled incorrectly. The owner claims it attracts attention to his business….

  15. The term is “rear back,” as in the back step a boxer takes before launching a roundhouse punch. It may be regionally pronounced “rare” in Alabama, but it loses any connection to meaning if it’s spelled “rare.”

  16. It would’ve been even better if “four” had been spelled “fore.” And JHarlan ‘s rite. Heh.

  17. Hi, Kate. How delightful to meet such a fabulous fellow grammar aficionado! Please drop by my site — and put a link to it in your blogroll if you like.

    Thanks for the great photos and posts.

  18. I was directed to your website from an article. I am so sorry. Your website is so boring.

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