Monday, January 11, 2010

Other State-isms

When you grow up and continue to live in one place – sometimes you may not notice your state-isms. Or, maybe you do…but you think everyone else is weird…and your state is normal. Or, perhaps you have noticed them and think they're as funny as I do. They're out there alright.

The other state-isms. The things we say or do differently from state to state. There could be whole books about this. It's such a funny topic (to me).

Some examples (I am grossly over generalizing here…but again…my blog):

In Ohio…there is a “Tree Lawn.” I don’t know if that is hyphened or one word or two…but it exists. And it’s the part of your lawn between the sidewalk and the road. My brother actually called my attention to this. Growing up in Michigan, we sort of just assumed that if there was grass, and it was within your property lines…it was just your “lawn…” no other description needed. Why “tree lawn?” There are not currently trees in that part of my lawn…but there are trees elsewhere. It’s one big puzzle to me.

In Massachusetts, the “emergency lane” is actually called the “breakdown lane” and can be used…during certain hours (read: whenever you feel like it). Just be warned, if you’re traveling through Massachusetts, people will fly past you in the emergency lane. Or, for people from this state …the “just another lane” lane.

In Georgia (I should say Atlanta here really) people don’t say they want a "pop" (in fact, just don't use the word pop in front of people from the south period) or a "soda." They all want a "Coke." And if you are at a restaurant and order a coke, the waiter/waitress will ask you “what kind?”

In Michigan, people are always going “out and about.” Which, now, having lived in Ohio for years, if I asked Chad where he were going and he replied, “Out and About,” I would assume he was blowing off my question. But in Michigan...it’s just another way of saying “running errands.”


On the non-verbal side of things…my brother and I constantly laugh at how different it is between Georgia and Ohio in a weather-sense. In Georgia, when there is an inch of snow, the weather people break into tv shows to have an emergency update that everyone should hurry out to buy bread and milk because the storm of the century is hitting. In Ohio, it’s considered a dusting…and nobody thinks twice about bread. In fact, it’s a small amount of snow – so people don’t think twice about much of anything with it…we don’t even really wipe off the wind shield if there is only an inch of snow…that’s what wind shield wipers are for.
A picture my brother snapped at an Atlanta grocery store (bread aisle) from a day when they were expecting an inch of snow.

Our backdeck on a day that the schools didn't even close. Poor Chad was shoveling to get some weight off the deck (who knows how much our deck supports can hold).
Another picture of our backdeck (on another day when the schools stayed open).
A final picture of our deck (it seems i like pictures of our deck). Sorry to have reflections...guess i could have turned the indoor lights off. The point of this picture really is to show you how deep the snow is - based on the shoveled pathway.
Another Ohio-ism: the mere term "plowing." Any type of snow removel to an Ohioan...is deemed "Plowing." So, when Chad goes outside to shovel the driveway he says, "I'm going to go plow now..." and I picture him attaching an actual plow to the front of his car. So, based on this terminology...when I run outside to grab the mail, and kick some snow with the front of my boot...I guess that means I plowed the snow...right?

I could go on and on about this…and maybe you could too. Feel free to leave comments about other ism’s you have noticed…

1 comment:

Andy said...

In Atlanta (and i'm assuming most of the south): "Bless his heart" or "Bless her heart". You can trash someone as much as you want (behind their back) as long as you include that line.