How to Talk Minnesotan

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How to Talk Minnesotan is a book by Howard Mohr, a former writer for A Prairie Home Companion. Published in 1987, the book provides examples of stereotypical Minnesotan speech and mannerisms. There is a musical version by Mohr and Drew Jansen (produced at Plymouth Playhouse by Troupe America, Inc.). The book was also adapted as a television special, which was produced by KTCA and first broadcast January 1, 1993.[1]

Some of the things the book covers:

  • Useful phrases such as "You bet", "That's different", and "Whatever"
  • Refusing food three times before accepting
  • The art of waving
  • Hotdish
  • Lutefisk
  • Talking about cars and starting cars in the winter
  • The Minnesotan "long goodbye"

Much of the material for the book was originally performed as sketches on A Prairie Home Companion. The book also includes fictional ads for improbable businesses such as "Raw Bits Cereal", "Polka Pants", and "Walleye Phone Company".

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