Two sophomores on campus took it upon themselves to take a verbal poll on how peer students talk about outdoor chairs. Specifically speaking, the Simon lawn has metal patio furniture and also red and blue chairs. The question is, Would you call them Adirondack chairs or lawn chairs?
After asking how this poll began, it’s safe to say it merely came up in conversation about how people view different types of chairs, and then moved to sitting outside and questioning bystanders on how they’d describe the chairs. Sophomore Tim Johnson is in favor of calling them lawn chairs, “in a normal conversation you would call those lawn chairs.” On the other hand, Caleb Day specifically calls them Adirondack chairs due to their style.
A typical answer given by fellow students included, “those are specifically Adirondack chairs but you could call them lawn chairs.” While this poll began in a friendly manner, that didn’t stop Johnson and Day from continuing to ask this question over multiple days just out of curiosity.
This question raises a bigger question of what else as small as calling the same chair by two different names might divide people? How many times is it too easy to think of a person differently based on what they call something?
So much of a person’s language is used to determine where they come from and their generation.
Clicker or Remote?
Dinner or Supper?
Rotary or Round-About or Turn Around or Traffic Circle?
Soccer or Futbol?
Dresser or Bureau?
Soda or Pop?
Milkshake or Frappe?
Punch Buggy or Slug Bug?
What language do you use?