[Buddha-l] Influence of media on the brain

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Wed Aug 18 16:37:18 MDT 2010

On Aug 18, 2010, at 3:49 PM, JKirkpatrick wrote:

> Here in I-dee-ho "You bet" signals agreement, or willingness to
> do something you are asked, rather than "You're welcome", far as
> I can tell, but might be totally off, since I don't get around
> that much with cows.

Here in Nova Meksiko (as it is called in Esperanto, the unofficial language of buddha-l and hence of the entire Buddhist world), "You bet" means all the things you mentioned, but it is also used in response to "Thank you". It should be mentioned, however, that "Thank you" is usually pronounced "'preciate it" (short for "I appreciate it" I guess) or "much obliged" in these parts. People still tend to have very good manners here in Nuevo México. 
The general decline in politesse that seems to be sweeping the nation has not found its way to the southwestern states, and probably won't for another twenty-five years or so. I see that as a function of the Mexican and native American influence. Gringos are less reliably polite, but the politeness of the people who really belong here is pretty contagious, so even many gringos acquire a reasonable facsimile of good manners after a few decades of living here. People still wave at total strangers, stop and talk to neighbors, make eye contact (except when speaking to Navajos, who find eye contact rude), use all manner of polite language, shake hands, hold open doors for one another and keep their guns in their holsters except when it's necessary to rob a liquor store. 

A typical conversation in Albuquerque goes something like this:

"Please give me your wallet, sir."
"With pleasure. Here you go."
"'Preciate it, sir."
"You bet."

All things considered, it's not surprising there are so many Buddhist centers here. Buddhism without politeness is like a cow without an udder. That's why you'll find few Buddhist centers outside of New Mexico.


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