"" Writer's Wanderings: Cleveland's Countdown to RNC - Words and Phrases to Know

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cleveland's Countdown to RNC - Words and Phrases to Know

Pop not soda.
People used to claim my father had a Cleveland accent. I never could figure that out but there are some unique to Cleveland and Ohio words and phrases that might be helpful to the visitor.

Let's start with "Wait 30 minutes and the weather will change." We are located on the shores of Lake Erie. It does strange things to our weather sometimes. In winter we get the "lake effect snow" which usually means that open water on the lake in winter will insure that the eastern suburbs get an extra measure of snow. Of course if the wind direction changes a bit all of the rest of us will be under its influence. In July you won't have to worry about snow but weather can get very cool or very hot. It will be a different temperature along the shore than further inland--usually cooler. If it starts to rain, well, wait 30 minutes. It will likely change.

One of the more distinctive differences in our language is the term "pop" when we mean soda. If you ask for a soda someone will want to know what kind of ice cream you want in it. A soda to us is ice cream, chocolate (or other flavoring) syrup, and carbonated water with whipped cream and a cherry on top.

All of the action for the main part of the convention will take place at the Q. That's short for Quicken Loans Arena where King James reigns (Lebron James). When the Cavaliers aren't playing, the Monsters (our hockey team) or the Gladiators (our indoor football team) play. We used to call the ballpark the Jake (Jacobs Field) but Progressive Insurance bought naming rights and no one has been able to come up with a clever nickname since. The Tribe is the nickname for the Indians baseball team.

If you are wearing Nikes, Adidas, New Balance, or any other brand for that matter, someone may compliment you on your tennis shoes rather than sneakers.

A sweeper is another name for vacuum cleaner.

The RTA usually refers to a bus. If someone says take the Rapid, it means one of the east-west Rapid Transit trains that run into town and end at the Terminal Tower which was originally called the Cleveland Union Terminal. Don't ask for the subway. It's a sore subject.

The Mall
There's the Flats, an area down by the river with restaurants and bars and the Mall, which is a big outdoor area centered around the Fountain of Eternal Life which is supposed to be a memorial to veterans and a sculpture to celebrate peace.

The Emerald Necklace refers to our MetroParks system, park land that surrounds the city.

While some may call it the burning river, the name Cuyahoga actually means crooked river. Just behind the Tower City complex is Collision Bend. Have a look and try to image (if there are none there at the time) large ore freighters making that turn.

Another bend that's a bit dangerous is Dead Man's Curve on I-90 on the east side of town. No worries. It's much more dangerous in the winter than in July.

There's no mistaking this city on the lake. It is oddly wonderful.

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