Auditorium / gymnasium

Posted by Lap of the Goddess on November 04, 2004

In Reply to: Auditorium / gymnasium posted by Smokey Stover on November 04, 2004

: : : : : : : : : : : what does RSVP stand for?

: : : : : : : : : : Respondez! si vous plait.

: : : : : : : : : : French for "please answer".

: : : : : : : : : Do I dare to dream my accents might print? Répondez, s'il vous plaît. SS

: : : : : : : : I've heard the American version to be Respond So Very Promptly.

: : : : : : : Never heard that one here on the East Coast.

: : : : : : I had no idea. It's been around the Midwest for quite some time, over 20 years I should think.

: : : : : Never heard it uses that way here in the NE part of the US.

: : : : : Having recently spent a few days of my time doing some "retail campaigning" in Pennsylvania for Senator Kerry, I quickly found out that gymnasium and auditorium are used synonymously down there.

: : : : : Here in the NY area basketball hoops are found in a gymnasium and seats and a stage are found in an auditorium ( audio, audire, from the L***n ).

: : : : What part of PA, Bruce? Could you have been in a school where they set up chairs in the gym and call it the auditorium? Just curious, as we live in Northeastern PA, and my wife is a native of the Anthracite region. I wasn't aware of these words being used differently here than in NY/NJ.

: : : I was working a week and a half from Harrisburg south on I83 towards Baltimore which is SE PA, correct?

: : : Also took a slight break over to PA Dutch area, Lancaster. Felt like a carpetbagger.

: : : And I thought we Brooklynites talked funny!

: : Yep, that's SE PA down there. Pennsylvania has a lot of regions, each with its own accent that comes out in certain words, under certain circumstances.

: Haven't you guys ever heard of recycling? In the 1930s the educational infrastructure of the country underwent a major remodeling, so to speak. In the interests of better teaching, better facilities and more uniformity, little country schools, especially the one-room variety, were absorbed by larger districts in what were often called "central" school districts. Many of these districts were centered in small towns, and often had a school population of well under a thousand. So it was natural to combined the functions of a gym, an auditorium and a theater in a single room. To make it into an auditorium set up chairs. To make it into a theater leave the chairs there and light up the stage. The stage was also used for "assemblies." To make it into a gymnasium (where athletes, oddly, do not in this case normally compete naked, in spite of the name), remove the chairs and pull the bleachers down. So what's so funny about that? SS

No-one loves the way things go off in a tangent on this site, the way I do, but I have to say I had to read this 3 times to figure out how we moved from RSVP to gymnasiums and auditoriums. Not a complaint - just took me a while.