Ever since The Blair Witch Project was presented in nearly all Adirondack theaters as an actual documentary, North Country men and women have shyed away from using symbols of any kind in their rare written interpersonal messages. It is all plain numbers and letters, shortened or deliberately misspelled or misused words and phrases. The same is true for those few who are text-messaging with their cellphones (which they hate; people can reach their spouses anywhere now, where before you could be gone for days and not have to explain yourself.)
Following are fifteen typical Adirondack text messages. Use them as a Rosetta Stone, if you will. A compendium that will put you in the proper mindset for divining the meaning of the text messages of your homegrown friends and neighbors. Note that any mistranslation of instant messages based on the examples in this column are solely the fault of the reader. Any tragic, semi-tragic, or friendship-busting misinterpretations are yours to straighten out.
(I have never been to Albany.)
First, this message conveys the level of national and international travel one has achieved. Second, it implies that sender is unlikely to have been in contact with any diseases that would exist only in locales as urban as the state capitol. Third, it is an admission of a local elected official admitting that he or she has never once represented his or her district effectively or in person.
(I have never seen Plattsburgh.)
A more troubling admission than the previous message. Implies the current and future limitations of ones life. Do not date this person if you have intentions of ever shopping in Burlington.
(Why didnt you marry your cute cousin?)
A perfectly legitimate question regarding a friend or neighbors romantic life. Also gives you the possibility of making a run at the cousin yourself.