A rough guide to Marquette, MI: written by an Outsider for other Outsiders
- “Send it.” This was easily the most noticeable and confusing colloquialism when I first arrived. I actually asked several people “send what? What am I sending to where?” They laughed. After some kind soul took mercy and took the time to explain it to me, I realized that the phrase “send it” comes from climbing culture (with which Marquette is obsessed). Apparently, in the climbing world, to “send it” means to start a route without planning or rehearsing it first. Essentially, to wing it.
tl;dr – “send it” = do it/go for it/wing it
- Chacos. Chacos errrrrywhere. On the trail, at the beach, up in da club. And the toe strap versus no toe strap debate can get surprisingly heated.
- The across-the-back strap Patagonia backpack purses. SUCH a yoop thing.
- Even if you are led to believe otherwise, EVERY plan is tentative.
“Wanna do sunset at Hogsback tonight?” “Oh I’m so down!” “Cool, I’ll call you after work.” These are what I like to call “Marquette plans”. Joke’s on you if you actually expect them to happen.
- A signature hat/sunglass combo. If you’re a dude, you definitely have one. If you’re a female, you probably do too.
- A confusing obsession with carabiners. Another everyday manifestation of the climbing obsession, it seems everybody knows the specs and price of every carabiner around. Be prepared to discuss all aspects of your carabiner. At length and ad nauseam.
- Stickers are a lifestyle. On your Nalgene, on your car, on your computer, on your pool table, on your walls.
- If you are a male, you have “buddies,” not “friends.” Still working on parsing out the cultural connotations of this one.
- If you are a female, your wardrobe is equal parts backcountry and equal parts bohemian hippie princess. There is no in-between.
- Welcome to da yoop, where the lingo is made up and grammar rules don’t matter. Say goodbye to past participles. Where one belongs following the present perfect “to have,” be prepared for a random present perfect-past construction.
e.g. “I haven’t gone to the lower peninsula in ages.” -> “I haven’t went downstate in a minute.”
Subject-verb agreement is also a tricky concept ’round these parts. Where one would usually use a plural verb like “are” to refer to a plural of anything, yoopers prefer to use “is” to acknowledge the presence of any amount of things. e.g. “There’s twelve boats down on the beach.” “There’s so many types of craft beer here!” when it should be “there are” for all things plural.
Also, there has been an interesting combination of tenses specifically related to the verb “to see.” The past tense “I saw” and then present perfect “I have seen” have combined into a colloquial favorite, “I seen.” e.g. “I seen three moose.”
- Instagram is a lifestyle. And if you live near Marquette, you’ve definitely ‘grammed a few of you and your friends laughing in front of the sunset from Sugarloaf, Hogsback, and/or Sunset Point.
- If you are male, your music taste is either exclusively classic rock or slightly psychedelic hip hop. When in doubt, remember that Chance the Rapper has an unusually strong and dedicated pocket of followers here.
- Music festival wristbands are fashionable forever. Long after the festival is over and the elastic has begun to smell.
- “Downstate”; NOT “lower peninsula”. Never mind the fact that you could technically go downstate and STILL be in the U.P.
- Pasties. Pronounced “past-eez”. The ultimate hangover cure.
- EVERYTHING is a group activity. Even if you made the plans with one person, expect many other people to show up. The more the merrier!