Cleaning out my camera phone

Sorry no WTRT yesterday. I really wasn’t in a good frame of mind to be funny or witty because the whole PSU debacle really punched me in the gut, and I think I took it especially hard because I have a son the same age as those who were assaulted. One thing this has done is made me very motivated to regularly talk to him about what to do if any adult, even an adult he trusts, were to try to do something that makes him uncomfortable.

That said, here are some pictures from my camera phone that I never shared!

1. New artwork has appeared on Gist Street in the Hill District. If you haven’t ever turned onto Gist from the Boulevard, I strongly suggest you do it and check out the amazing things you’ll see in a one block stretch of street.


2. This is what female equestrians wear on Mexican telenovelas.

So you see why they’re so popular.

3. A sign on a Route 30 transmission shop that makes me chuckle every time:

4.  I can’t for the life of me figure out how they determined which letters to leave out and which left out letters got replaced with apostrophes.

I mean, what about the D in “sandwich?”  They took it out but there’s no apostrophe! And why take the E out of “Sealer” but leave it in “Decruster?”

The grammar tutor in me is having a brain aneurysm.

I just spelled aneurysm right on the first try. [back pat]

And don’t even get me started on the capitalization or I will punch a dictionary.

5. This is Ray Brooks, the effervescent (spelled it right the first time!) Just Ducky tour guide who tried to kill me by letting a baby drive the boat:


6. Only in Pittsburgh. There are TWO Pittsburghese things in this awesome sign hanging at my local post office. See if you can find both:

More later, including a post about Hizzoner Master Lukey of Juice Box Dojo.


  1. Jcubed03
    November 8, 2011 12:06 pm

    No. 6 – Gumbands, obviously! And the missing “to be” in the second sentence. Someone really ought to Redd Up that sign! :)

  2. bucdaddy
    November 8, 2011 12:16 pm

    @1 beat me to it. That was easy.

    No. 3 reminds me of all those radiator-repair places that put “Best place in town to take a leak” signs outside.

    I can only imagine how those babies in No. 2 bounce when she’s actually RIDING the horse.

  3. facie
    November 8, 2011 12:32 pm

    I never knew the missing “to be” was wrong until I had a college roommate from New Jersey my junior year. I still remember her asking me why I was talking like that. The good ol’ days!

    I have always found the apostrophe thing with missing letters (to be) perplexing; why do Eat’n Park and Shop ‘n Save have only one apostrophe before the n and not around the n (‘n’)?

  4. SpudMom
    November 8, 2011 12:51 pm

    GAH! GUMBAND. I cannot stand that word.

  5. Amanda
    November 8, 2011 1:07 pm

    #6 is a trick question. That sign is perfect as it is.
    I taught my daughter the word gumband just the other night.

  6. TK
    November 8, 2011 1:15 pm

    You forgot some important information. What is the name of the telenova and what channel is it on?

    Hey, I just want to learn Spanish.

  7. Leigh
    November 8, 2011 1:20 pm

    To be or not to be… non-Pittsburgh husband makes fun of me for this ALL the time. We had arguments over it when we first started dating, because I had NO IDEA that I was wrong.

  8. G-Man
    November 8, 2011 1:31 pm

    In July of 1973, I moved to Richmond, VA for my first “real” job out of college. On my first day I was shown the office supply room and allowed to ask for whatever stuff I needed. When I told the clerk I wanted a box of gumbands, she turned and looked at me and said, “WTF”? I swear she did. That was more than 30 years before “WTF” was even invented. Pittsburghese is a very powerful force.

  9. Face Window
    November 8, 2011 1:36 pm

    You guys aren’t wrong. It’s perfectly grammatically correct to not use “to be” in that sentence. As a side note, here in Michigan we call them “rubber bands” and my girlfriend’s grandma calls them “band rubber” for whatever reason I don’t know.

  10. Jenny
    November 8, 2011 1:57 pm

    We just had a hysterical and lengthy conversation about ‘gumbands’ last week! A family friend said at the Post Office in FL they refer to them as ‘rubbers’. Seriously, it’s as commonly used as gumbands is used here. She said it took her months to get used to being asked for a box of rubbers at work!

  11. David
    November 8, 2011 2:01 pm

    Wait, “to be” is supposed to be in that letter? I’ll be damned.

  12. Dana
    November 8, 2011 2:29 pm

    I didn’t realize that “The car needs washed” is a grammatically incorrect sentence until I went to college…and I was an English major.

  13. PittinDC
    November 8, 2011 2:50 pm

    I’ve always written “to be” in where it is supposed to be, but I always, to this day, eliminate it when speaking. I don’t even realize it. My husband and I have been together so long that he doesn’t even notice it anymore. But I still notice that people from Baltimore/DC cannot pronounce milk and orange correctly!

  14. red pen mama
    November 8, 2011 2:54 pm

    Gumbands and leaving out “to be”. Classic pittsburghese. On Twitter yesterday, I speculated about naming our future dog Yinzer, and a bunch of us compared favorite pittsburghese terms. Slippy and nebby were the winners.

    as to your #4 — they didn’t decide anything. They just threw a bunch of letters up without worrying about consistency, even about being consistently wrong.

  15. Butcher's Dog
    November 8, 2011 2:57 pm

    @#9Face Window: sorry, but the sentence is wrong as stated. Two ways to fix it: either it’s “need to be sorted” or “need sorting”. The second way uses a gerund (-ing form of a verb used as a noun). Since “need” is an action verb, it requires a direct object. “To be sorted” is an infinitive, which works, as does the gerund.

    See…you all had to go and wake up the inner English teacher in me. Thanks! Now I’ll be diagramming sentences all afternoon!

  16. DownGoesStaalsy
    November 8, 2011 3:01 pm

    As a professional editor, that packaging just makes my eyes and brain want to explode.

    I will never understand why so many people who write the copy for products feel the need to capitalize the first letter of nearly every single word. In what world does that make sense?

  17. DownGoesStaalsy
    November 8, 2011 3:04 pm

    @ Dana – Same here! Glad I’m not the only one. ;) I was a communications major with an English minor, and when one of my professors asked me if I was from Pittsburgh after I said something “needs washed,” it took me an embarrassingly long moment to realize why he was asking me that. I turned several shades of red, to say the least.

  18. Jim
    November 8, 2011 3:18 pm

    To borrow a phrase from Robert Earl Keen, “It’s a cultural thing”. It explains gumbands, dropped prepositions, and scantily clad female equestrians in Mexican telenovelas. And thank god for that…we all need a little variety in our lives!

  19. bucdaddy
    November 8, 2011 3:35 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out when everything became an “event.” No one has answered THAT one yet.

    Lowe’s just had a “floor event” and Jeep had a remarkably redundant “celebration event.”

    Am I supposed to know what the “event” is in these cases?

  20. Leenyburgh
    November 8, 2011 4:37 pm

    It’s obviously missing an “n’at.”

  21. bluzdude
    November 8, 2011 4:48 pm

    I especially don’t like “Sanwich” spelled like that. Everyone knows it should be “Sammich.”

  22. Butcher's Dog
    November 8, 2011 4:56 pm

    @bucdaddy: On the bright side, this brave new world means you get to have a beer event on a daily basis. Or several. No need to thank me.

  23. G-Man
    November 8, 2011 5:05 pm

    @Jenny: I kind of figure that if one is at work and asks for a box of rubbers, one is a hooker.

  24. Mark
    November 8, 2011 5:46 pm

    it took me 40 years to realize “needs ____” instead of “needs to be _____” isn’t correct. And though I was born here and this is my tribal homeland, I grew up in Detroit! The roots go deep, n’at.

  25. Christine H
    November 8, 2011 5:50 pm

    I love, love, love the post office sign. Gumbands and a dropped “to be” will always = ‘Burgher to me. (A non-Burgher coworker once thought someone talking about pants with “gum” in the waist was referring to chewing gum.)

  26. Sam's Dog
    November 8, 2011 8:50 pm

    @bucdaddy, “remarkably redundant” – love it.

  27. LeeInIrwin
    November 8, 2011 9:55 pm

    I go to the same post office and have seen that sign many times and not once have I ever thought anything was wrong or peculiar about(abaht) it. But, I have thought -> I hope no jagoff put any gumbands in the mail slot. That would mess up the machines n’at.

  28. Andrea
    November 8, 2011 10:55 pm

    Gumbands??? What? And “need TO BE sorted!” We moved here from Cleveland (I KNOW!) and I can’t understand why Pittsburghers drop the “to be.” *sigh* My three year old can do it, so can all yinzers!

  29. MattDC
    November 9, 2011 4:15 pm

    No. 3 — “a sign on a Route 30 transmission shop”. . .ahh, your caption alone makes me feel homesick.

    No. 6 — Why is everyone upset by the missing “to be”? I’m just relieved they used “does not” instead of “don’t.”

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