Southern Culture of America and English

Simon   Sunday, May 25, 2003, 09:10 GMT
I am intelligent and fair minded. But don't we all have "misconceptions" about places?
hp20   Sunday, May 25, 2003, 16:22 GMT
sure we do. are those really misconceptions you have, though? they were so out of line (burning black people?) that i thought you were just being sarcastic.
Simon   Monday, May 26, 2003, 06:08 GMT
Ok, I don't really believe that you all go around burning black people. However, I have heard a description from a trusted friend of Atlanta which made it sound less than "cosmopolitan"... Otherwise, I'm sorry if I caused offence.
Will   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 06:17 GMT
I happened across this web page and thought I'd my opinion. Marlyand is decidely not southern. As a Virginian I can think of no Marylanders who I consider or who consider themeselves to be Southern. Maryland hasn't been a "southern state" for more than a hundred years. With time the area normally considered to be the South is shrinking. Parts of Northern Virginia, for example, have become extremly metroplitan and have discarded most of the traces of the proud southern heritage and culture that once could be found in that area.
Clark   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 06:43 GMT
What have you to say about this, hp20?
Jacob   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 13:10 GMT
Maryland's nickname is `America in miniature.' The nickname probably has to do with the varied geography, but it applies to culture as well. The eastern part of Maryland has a very Southern feel to it, down where the big farms spread out. The accent in that area sounds Southern, and the culture has more of that Southern feel to it. They are long on history and tradition. The urban areas around Frederick, Baltimore and Washington, DC simply feel urban; they are more a part of the big city belt extending up to New York than they are a part of the South. Language usage there is quite a mix because people have come from all over. The westernmost part of Maryland (where I'm from) is very Appalachian in character; the accent is distinct from other places in the state and has more in common with West Virginia, rural southwestern Virginia, and Kentucky. There are also some weird grammar usages which I wasn't even aware of until I moved away and realized they were incorrect.

The Mason-Dixon line, which forms the northern border of Maryland (separating it from Pennsylvania) is historically the dividing line between North and South. But, for instance, where I live in the western part, the state is so narrow -- only a few miles across -- that it doesn't really acquire a northern or southern identity. On the east, where the state extends farther south, it acquired and maintained a much stronger southern identity.
Venita   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 18:18 GMT
Greetings to all. I reside in the deep-south of the United States of America. I am not sure how or why our paths have crossed this day. Let me say this; the reading of your views have been interesting to say the least. I must add, pleasurable as well. Thank you.

Yes, life in the South is lived at a somewhat slower pace. Therefore, if the English language is taught and learned correctly, it can be beautifully spoken and understood. However, there is abundant butchering of the English language as there is in any region.

As far as the flag thing, it is just that, a flag. It means different things to different people. If for instance, you conclude that the Confederate flag is a symbol of slavery, you must then judge the stars and stripes in a like manner, according to the attrocities committed under it. Wrongdoing under the US flag may seem a novel revelation to some, but common knowledge of history demonstrates otherwise. When a right judgement is applied, the Confederate flag can be justly recognized for decent attributes behind it's founding. It is time to stop stereotyping an entire people and their symbols based on what a few-ill minded persons do of their own choice. (By the way, I usually do not participate in such converstions. I'm not biased either way.) Contrary to what some call popular belief, I believe ignorance is not bliss. But, then again, if it's all that one knows...

I will end this with; think for yourself. Put your mind and judgment to where the truth is revealed. It has been delighful. Thanks again. Until we meet again, good day! We are all related.

Kind regards, Venita
Venita   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 18:24 GMT
Please forgive my grammar mistake. I left out the "t" in delightful. I'm sorry. I should have proofread before responding. 'Tis embarassing. Thank you.

*You all seem to be fair-minded people, for the most part.

God bless, Venita
Venita   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 18:33 GMT
Oh my! I did it again. I left out the "a" in conversations. My grammar is lacking today. Forgive my obvious ignorant mistakes. Thanks!

Eulalia   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 21:40 GMT
Hey don't worry about grammar so much! I hate grammar!
hp20   Thursday, May 29, 2003, 02:46 GMT
a) read my old posts where i said that urban areas and some communities do not always meet my generalizations
b) read what jacob wrote
KT   Thursday, May 29, 2003, 18:38 GMT
I agree with you.

Thanks for clarifying.

So are you saying "maryland is DECIDEDLY southern" is your "generalization"?

---"the overall culture is no that of the states that are actually considered by americans to be midatlantic (ny, pa, nj, etc). it leans to the south. (exceptions might include baltimore or annapolis, cities tend to be more cosmopolitan.)"---

I just wonder if this statement is only from your "yankee perspective" otherwise I would like to know how many Americans' view that you are generalizing here.

Since Will (a Virginian) and me (who spent 4 yrs in Maryland) both know no Marylander that who we consider or who consider themeselves to be Southern, I think my generalization of "Maryland is not a Southern state" is more reliable than the generalization of hp20 (who considers herself a yankee, who has been to all mid-atlantic states): "Maryland is decidely southern".
hp20   Friday, May 30, 2003, 01:01 GMT
kt, you seem kind of touchy on the subject of maryland. i hope you're not taking a great deal of offense here. come on. chill.

in answer to your question about how most americans see this state, to be honest i don't think most americans spend a great deal of time thinking about maryland and probably really don't care. there are 49 other states and most people primarily care about their own.

that said, i'm very sorry that i don't offer the expertise that you seem to be asking of me but you must understand that i was only trying to answer the question as an american who has lived and traveled up and down the eastern seaboard. as such, i DO feel that i know more about this than you do. you may have spent some time in maryland but i've had a chance to experience more aspects of american culture, and i'm sorry but i do think i have a bit more to compare to. that's nice that you and will agree but two individuals are not going to discount for me the things that i've experienced and perceived. as i said before, certain communities and especially urban areas are going to be different, but overall, maryland is a lot more like some of the southern states than, say, massachusetts or vermont, or even pennsylvania in my mind. not EXACTLY THE SAME, mind you, just like.

anyways, kt, i really don't think that this debate is that serious and you shouldn't be getting as irate as you seem to be. however i do think i'm right. ;)
KT   Friday, May 30, 2003, 04:01 GMT
NO I wasn't irate at all. I was getting impatient because it was irritating when you said something with an absolute tone but later on called it your generalization.

Maybe there are certain things about Maryland that you found are a lot more like te southern states than MA or VT. Well, I've never compared MD to New England states. I do know the differences. However, I would say, overall, MD is a mid-atlantic state much more so than a southern state. You can think Maryland is a southern state but Marylanders will not consider themselves Southern.

I guess there will be no agreement between two of us in this topic so we call it an end now.
J. Chisholm   Saturday, May 31, 2003, 04:07 GMT
American from the Deep South (Mississippi) checking in here.

Southerners do have an identifiable culture, and one that we keep largely separate from the mainstream American culture. We have a different history, a different lingo, a different identity to a certain extent. There is, in my experience, a stronger sense of place and family in the South -- Truman Capote, who was from Louisiana, once said that every Southerner comes home eventually, even if it's in a pine box.

Don't ever commit the cardinal sin of calling a Southerner a yankee! It's the ultimate insult. A hundred years have passed since the Civil War, and the once feverent hatred has mellowed into a healthy disrespect, but being called a yankee will get any Southerner's blood up. Yes, racism is alive and well, but the most famous parts -- the Ku Klux Klan and lynching, etc. -- died out decades ago. The racism that remains is more subtle but even that is being slowly chipped away.

Like just about all the white people below the Mason-Dixon line, I'm of primarily Irish-Scots descent, with some German, Dutch, Amerindian, and black thrown in. There is little to no connection with Europe, however, no matter what's in our genes. Mississippi is about as Southern as you can get, and few people here would consider Oklahoma to be part of the South -- Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, the Carolinas, Georgia, yes, but not Oklahoma.

We're very proud of our beautiful accents which are much nicer than that awful yankeespeak! ;) We've also perserved a few archaisms that don't exist elsewhere -- "over yonder" is one of the most famous.