Thursday, August 04, 2016

Have t'

I was rushing south on Yonge, on the east side, towards Dundas Square. Joe and the kids were going to take a cab. We were a little late, I can go faster on my own, we were worried about rain, so it made sense for me to go ahead, and for them to grab a ride. I grinned as they passed me on the street, the girls calling out to me and laughing as they raced by in the cab. I knew I was making good time and therefore wouldn't keep them all waiting long.

Scooting by a couple in front of me, I thanked them and zoomed on. Then on the next block I came to a stand still. they were doing construction and pedestrians were being forced off the sidewalk onto the road beside with concrete barriers set up creating a very narrow passageway. To make it "accessible" they made a concrete ramp from sidewalk to passageway. Because it was narrow, the ramp was really, really steep. I feared that I'd tip over going down forwards and if I didn't tip, the speed at which I'd go down I'd run into the concrete barrier. It was a long way back to the light to cross over to the other side. I reviewed my options.

Settling on going down backwards, I turned the chair around and the couple who I had passed had caught up to me. They stopped to give me room to make my manoeuvres and I carefully made my way down. I was touching the barrier while still on the ramp but made the turn anyway and got down. Then I saw the other ramp on the other side, equally steep, equally treacherous. The couple, who were from the Southern States in the United States, spoke with a lovely accent.

"They don't make it easy for y'all, do they," she said, and I agreed. He said, "My mother used to say there's a difference between have t' and want t', this here," he indicated the curb, "would be a have t'."  I agreed wholeheartedly he was right. This was there because they had to do something "accessible" not because they wanted to make it accessible. I climbed back up onto the sidewalk and wished them a good vacation in the city.

I wish I could catch their accent here but I can't, I still hear his voice saying 'have t'' and 'want t'' because I know I'm going to use that classification a lot in my head when it comes to ranking accessibility in my head. I'm already guessing there's a lot more have t' than want t' out there.

A lot more.


CapriUni said...

Just a note from a Native USA American: the standard spelling of that particular connected speech)(sliding two words together into one) is "haveta" (and yes, it's written like that when in dialog -- we use it often enough that it's in our dictionaries).

Maybe that'll help you remember their voices.

Adelaide Dupont said...

And I often hear/see hafta and wanta.

jesse-the-k said...

Oh my yes. I have encounter this sort of "access theater" many times. It's almost as if the construction team cares more about appearing to comply than actually complying. This enrages me: they are actually creating barriers in the name of access.