Whenever you’re Irish

If you’re visiting either Northern Ireland or Texas, you might be surprised to hear the locals talking about “whenever we got married” (even though she’s still with her first husband, and she’s not Elizabeth Taylor), “whenever my son was born” (although he has only one kid, to the best of your knowledge), or “whenever we won the lottery” (and even the Irish aren’t that lucky) …

No, I’m not talking blarney: there’s an abundance of whenevers (whenever just when will do) north of the border in Castleblaney and south of Oklahoma. And just why they’re so partial to whenever in these particular places is anyone’s guess. It’s certainly not the climate.

Hat-tip to my mom, who noticed this quirk on a recent trip up north. It has also been noted by Paul Brians in his Common Errors in English Usage, and by the online Bee Dictionary.

 

 

 

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