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How to Talk Minnesotan: A Visitor's Guide

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Based in part on material written for "A Prairie Home Companion", How to Talk Minnesotan will help visitors to Minnesota keep from sticking out like sore thumbs when they don't know the difference between "not too bad a deal" and "a heckuva deal". Illustrated with line drawings. Based in part on material written for "A Prairie Home Companion", How to Talk Minnesotan will help visitors to Minnesota keep from sticking out like sore thumbs when they don't know the difference between "not too bad a deal" and "a heckuva deal". Illustrated with line drawings.


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Based in part on material written for "A Prairie Home Companion", How to Talk Minnesotan will help visitors to Minnesota keep from sticking out like sore thumbs when they don't know the difference between "not too bad a deal" and "a heckuva deal". Illustrated with line drawings. Based in part on material written for "A Prairie Home Companion", How to Talk Minnesotan will help visitors to Minnesota keep from sticking out like sore thumbs when they don't know the difference between "not too bad a deal" and "a heckuva deal". Illustrated with line drawings.

30 review for How to Talk Minnesotan: A Visitor's Guide

  1. 4 out of 5

    Janene

    What I've noticed about this book..and it's reviews...are that the people who aren't rating it very high...and saying it's 'really not that funny'...likely aren't from Minnesota and not presently living in Minnesota. That being said, I read this book and pretty much laughed my ass off through the whole thing. I am Minnesota born and raised. This book is the truth! If you are from Minnesota and are willing to laugh at yourself & your neighbors...this is the book for you! OMG..ROFL! Whatever. ;) What I've noticed about this book..and it's reviews...are that the people who aren't rating it very high...and saying it's 'really not that funny'...likely aren't from Minnesota and not presently living in Minnesota. That being said, I read this book and pretty much laughed my ass off through the whole thing. I am Minnesota born and raised. This book is the truth! If you are from Minnesota and are willing to laugh at yourself & your neighbors...this is the book for you! OMG..ROFL! Whatever. ;)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Liana

    A guy sure could spend a lotta days laughing at the contents of this book if he felt so inclined. You bet.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Franco Pitacco

    when I first read this book, it was an earlier edition and I was living in Minnesota. I would have rated it 5*' It was 30/35 years ago. Now I do not deam it worth that much. when I first read this book, it was an earlier edition and I was living in Minnesota. I would have rated it 5*' It was 30/35 years ago. Now I do not deam it worth that much.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    This isn't the sort of book to read straight through, but to dip into, and in parts it is laugh-out-loud funny. Like the chapter on emotional outbursts (there aren't any) and on using negatives to express positive feelings, like saying, "Not too bad," or "It could be worse" when someone asks how you are. This stoic style also applies to doctors and hospitals ("We pretend we aren't sick until our symptoms are unmistakable...anybody could diagnose us by the time most of us make an appointment. On This isn't the sort of book to read straight through, but to dip into, and in parts it is laugh-out-loud funny. Like the chapter on emotional outbursts (there aren't any) and on using negatives to express positive feelings, like saying, "Not too bad," or "It could be worse" when someone asks how you are. This stoic style also applies to doctors and hospitals ("We pretend we aren't sick until our symptoms are unmistakable...anybody could diagnose us by the time most of us make an appointment. On the other hand, if we know what's wrong, why go to the doctor?" (p. 98). And the chapter on giving and accepting of gifts is dead on. So is asking directions and drawing maps. And the section on saying too much, and the one on conversational gambits ("The heat's not too bad if you move around"). In brief: the book wasn't too bad.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Colette!

    UPDATED! Here's a link to the mockumentary, which itself is perfection. How to Talk Minnesotan I would give it to my parents, but I think they wouldn't get the joke. That's how close to home this hit. Better yet is identifying those who speak Minnesotan around you. Just the other day I heard someone describe a man: "He's an optimist. That's all right, I guess." CLASSIC MINNESOTAN. But for that person who just doesn't know how to refuse food three times before accepting it, or that good-byes actua UPDATED! Here's a link to the mockumentary, which itself is perfection. How to Talk Minnesotan I would give it to my parents, but I think they wouldn't get the joke. That's how close to home this hit. Better yet is identifying those who speak Minnesotan around you. Just the other day I heard someone describe a man: "He's an optimist. That's all right, I guess." CLASSIC MINNESOTAN. But for that person who just doesn't know how to refuse food three times before accepting it, or that good-byes actually last a half hour, this is a great resource into the minds of Midwesterners.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Volkert

    A humorous "visitor's guid as heard on A Prairie Home Companion," by the creator of Minnesota Language Systems and the writer of 200-plus scripts for the radio show. Reading this volume, with Mohr's flat and nasal voice in my head, made me chuckle and even laugh out loud once or twice. I'm convinced that Minnesotans must be part Dutch. Phrases like "you bet," and "that's different," or "whatever" will roll off my tongue much more easily now. A humorous "visitor's guid as heard on A Prairie Home Companion," by the creator of Minnesota Language Systems and the writer of 200-plus scripts for the radio show. Reading this volume, with Mohr's flat and nasal voice in my head, made me chuckle and even laugh out loud once or twice. I'm convinced that Minnesotans must be part Dutch. Phrases like "you bet," and "that's different," or "whatever" will roll off my tongue much more easily now.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    My friends gave me this book right before I went off to college in Minnesota. I read the book and thought it was pretty funny, but quickly discovered how true a lot of is was once I was there. Which, of course, made it even funnier.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    a friend gave me this-always cracks me up.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David

    This was okay. Some of the jokes are good, but the laughs are fewer and further between than I'd hoped. This was okay. Some of the jokes are good, but the laughs are fewer and further between than I'd hoped.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Hilarious and snarky! A little outdated and focused on southern Minnesota/farm towns, but I bet the new edition would be even funnier.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    My wife is from Minnesota, so I have spent a fair amount of time there. This was an enjoyable read. Lots of tips for our next visit. Reminded me of a long skit on "prairie home companion" My wife is from Minnesota, so I have spent a fair amount of time there. This was an enjoyable read. Lots of tips for our next visit. Reminded me of a long skit on "prairie home companion"

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    I listened to this rather than read it, and I think it made it better. The accents and reading really made it real. I live in MN and caught myself numerous times thinking, "Oh, we do do that!" I listened to this rather than read it, and I think it made it better. The accents and reading really made it real. I live in MN and caught myself numerous times thinking, "Oh, we do do that!"

  13. 4 out of 5

    Beana

    Goofy and fun

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kim Browers

    As a Minnesota native now living in the Southern U.S., this satire definitely felt true. In book form, it probably could have been about half the length, but it's a classic example of Prairie Home Companion lore. As a Minnesota native now living in the Southern U.S., this satire definitely felt true. In book form, it probably could have been about half the length, but it's a classic example of Prairie Home Companion lore.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karen Korb

    About The Book: Based in part on material written for "A Prairie Home Companion", How to Talk Minnesotan will help visitors to Minnesota keep from sticking out like sore thumbs when they don't know the difference between "not too bad a deal" and "a heckuva deal". Illustrated with line drawings. About the Author: A one-time radio script writer, Howard Mohr has become known as the man who translated Minnesotan for the rest of the world. Early in his career, Mohr wrote for Prairie Home Companion, cr About The Book: Based in part on material written for "A Prairie Home Companion", How to Talk Minnesotan will help visitors to Minnesota keep from sticking out like sore thumbs when they don't know the difference between "not too bad a deal" and "a heckuva deal". Illustrated with line drawings. About the Author: A one-time radio script writer, Howard Mohr has become known as the man who translated Minnesotan for the rest of the world. Early in his career, Mohr wrote for Prairie Home Companion, creating fake radio ads and listener favorites such as Raw Bits. But he's best known as the author of the bestselling book How to Talk Minnesotan. It's a book that when made into a video version won a regional Emmy in Chicago. He even adapted it into a stage musical which received a long-time run at playhouses in the region. Mohr is a graduate of Abilene Christian University and lives with his family on a southwestern Minnesota prairie. My Thoughts About The Book: I am an avid Garrison Keillor and Prairie Home Companion fan and when I agreed to review this book I was hoping for someone who was like Garrison Keillor. I was disappointed. The book was similar to the dryness of Prairie Home Companion but lacked the full bodied stories Keille shares each week with his radio audience. I found a lot of familiar Minnisotan idioms absent from the book. As a high school teacher I did love his lesson format with a few conversation tips and then examples. I also liked the pronunciation notes. The Power f the Negative lesson was one of my favorite lessons. It is amazing how confusing expressing negatives can be.....in Minnesota. Hotdish was a new concept for me when I visited Minnesota. I assumed it was casserole (southern rendition)...but found it was a bit different....quite a bit. Even though the book was not quite what I thought it would be it was an entertaining read and full of wonderful homilies from Minnesota. Disclaimer: I was given this book from Net Galley and the Penguin Publishing Group for a fair and honest review. The views expressed are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Julie H.

    Howard Mohr's How to Talk Minnesotan: A Visitor's Guide is both spot-on accurate and hilarious. Having only lived in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for five months, I've already observed many of the linguistic and non-verbal cues--as well as the more multi-faceted cultural phenomena tackled here such as the "The Minnesota Long Goodbye." Mohr, self-styled creator of Minnesota Language Sytems, is to be congratulated on providing this useful tool for us non-Minnesotans who visit or relocate to the Gopher Howard Mohr's How to Talk Minnesotan: A Visitor's Guide is both spot-on accurate and hilarious. Having only lived in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for five months, I've already observed many of the linguistic and non-verbal cues--as well as the more multi-faceted cultural phenomena tackled here such as the "The Minnesota Long Goodbye." Mohr, self-styled creator of Minnesota Language Sytems, is to be congratulated on providing this useful tool for us non-Minnesotans who visit or relocate to the Gopher State. And the faux ads, reminiscent of the sorts of ads we used to read in Mad Magazine, are a welcome addition, too. To rephrase this review in Minnesotan: "This book was not so bad. It sure beats some of that other stuff they've been charging us 14 bucks to read. All told, that's not too bad a deal, huh?"

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    This book was something I acquired from my great-grandmother. I was quite astounded that someone had written a book like this (because I am from Minnesota) and I noticed that even today, the author was right. Everything he says, even though it sounds funny in the writing, is basically a true account of Minnesotan talking. I just had to smile reading about the lutefisk and casserole! (Which, by the way, is true. We Minnesotans are very fond of our casseroles XD))

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Heinrich

    This is a really cute book. A very dear friend of mine moved to Minniapolis four months ago and brought this home for me on a recent visit. The book is so funny because it's so true! The author, Howard Mohr, has written for A Prairie Home Companion, if that gives you an idea of his humor. I am really enjoying it's simplicity and light-heartedness. This is a really cute book. A very dear friend of mine moved to Minniapolis four months ago and brought this home for me on a recent visit. The book is so funny because it's so true! The author, Howard Mohr, has written for A Prairie Home Companion, if that gives you an idea of his humor. I am really enjoying it's simplicity and light-heartedness.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    An offshoot of the glory days of "Prairie Home Companion," this book purports to explain Minnesota culture to the rest of the country. It is subtitled "A Visitor's Guide," and gives examples of local idiom. The humor is not laugh-aloud funny, but more in a gentle style. Still, it's an enjoyable bedtime book, since it can be read a little at a time. An offshoot of the glory days of "Prairie Home Companion," this book purports to explain Minnesota culture to the rest of the country. It is subtitled "A Visitor's Guide," and gives examples of local idiom. The humor is not laugh-aloud funny, but more in a gentle style. Still, it's an enjoyable bedtime book, since it can be read a little at a time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kari Mathias

    Very, very cute. It made me remember why I love Minnesota so much, and why I'm so proud to live in such a enchanting place. I think that the humor is accessible to everyone, but only people from Minnesota will get the special thrill when they see a phrase that they've actually used in a serious conversation. I only gave it four stars, because I don't think I'll read it again, but I loved it. Very, very cute. It made me remember why I love Minnesota so much, and why I'm so proud to live in such a enchanting place. I think that the humor is accessible to everyone, but only people from Minnesota will get the special thrill when they see a phrase that they've actually used in a serious conversation. I only gave it four stars, because I don't think I'll read it again, but I loved it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pwagner

    I grew up in MN and moved to ND when I was 20. I could relate to what the author said about phrases and the dialect however, North Dakotans say the same things. I really don't think it's a Minnesotan thing but a Midwestern way of life and way of speaking. I thought the book was rather boring and it did not hold my attention. I grew up in MN and moved to ND when I was 20. I could relate to what the author said about phrases and the dialect however, North Dakotans say the same things. I really don't think it's a Minnesotan thing but a Midwestern way of life and way of speaking. I thought the book was rather boring and it did not hold my attention.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jaclynn

    This is a hilarious book! Learn all the ways of what it means to be a true Minnesotan. =P I'm pretty sure some of it isn't true, merely legends and rumors. The ads are pretty funny too. If you want to get a good laugh and learn a little about the state of Minnesota then you should read this. This is a hilarious book! Learn all the ways of what it means to be a true Minnesotan. =P I'm pretty sure some of it isn't true, merely legends and rumors. The ads are pretty funny too. If you want to get a good laugh and learn a little about the state of Minnesota then you should read this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    This book is hilarious! If you are from Minnesota, have ever lived in Minnesota, or know anybody from Minnesota, it is something you will want to check out. Here's to the "Minnesota Ice" ....errr.....ummm....I mean the "Minnesota Nice" This book is hilarious! If you are from Minnesota, have ever lived in Minnesota, or know anybody from Minnesota, it is something you will want to check out. Here's to the "Minnesota Ice" ....errr.....ummm....I mean the "Minnesota Nice"

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erich Franz Linner-Guzmann

    At first I gave this 3 stars because some of it was pretty funny... then I got to thinking that what I thought was funny wasn't all THAT funny and just okay. So, now 2 stars is what it gets. Maybe you just have to be from Minnesota in order to get this humor, hmmm.... At first I gave this 3 stars because some of it was pretty funny... then I got to thinking that what I thought was funny wasn't all THAT funny and just okay. So, now 2 stars is what it gets. Maybe you just have to be from Minnesota in order to get this humor, hmmm....

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jason Williams

    I picked up this gem at a used book store's going-out-of-business sale that I happened upon almost a decade ago. With my Minnesota roots, this book is an absolute treasure to me. I still pick it up for reference when I need a quick laugh. The taco recipe was spot on! I picked up this gem at a used book store's going-out-of-business sale that I happened upon almost a decade ago. With my Minnesota roots, this book is an absolute treasure to me. I still pick it up for reference when I need a quick laugh. The taco recipe was spot on!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Angela Joyce

    I was given the cassette tape of this many years ago when I nearly moved to Minnesota, and now I've finally read the book. It is gently hilarious and perhaps more universally relevant than some might think. I was given the cassette tape of this many years ago when I nearly moved to Minnesota, and now I've finally read the book. It is gently hilarious and perhaps more universally relevant than some might think.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    As a former Minnesotan with relatives in the state, I found this pretty funny because of its accuracy. Mohr's guide goes the way of the Norwegian jokes I grew up with: It's unfunny and odd to those on the outside, but if you're making fun of yourself, well ... As a former Minnesotan with relatives in the state, I found this pretty funny because of its accuracy. Mohr's guide goes the way of the Norwegian jokes I grew up with: It's unfunny and odd to those on the outside, but if you're making fun of yourself, well ...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

    Hilarious. I'm a MN from birth through grade school. This book reminds me of my distant relatives now. Hilarious. I'm a MN from birth through grade school. This book reminds me of my distant relatives now.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A necessary read for anyone who has visited or lived in Minnesota. HILARIOUS!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Hilarious and quite accurate

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