We’ve all heard the worn-out stereotypes and differences between the upper and lower regions of the United States. Since moving from Michigan to Tennessee, I’ve found many of these to be true, some more than others. Keep in mind that these are all very generalized and do not in any way represent every single person in America. Based on my own personal experience, here are some areas where the North and the South are still at war:
One of the most immediately obvious differences between the regions are the ways that we talk. For example, the difference between y’all and you guys, fixin’ to and about to, as well as coke and pop. Not to mention accents!
Check out which states your speech fits in best here.
As a general rule, probably having to do with the way each of us is raised, Southerners are more outright polite and gracious. They are taught from an early age to use “sir” and “ma’am” and hold the door open for others. People from the North tend to be a little colder upon first meeting them. For some reason, they feel the need to talk faster and get places faster, often skimping on the manners to do so.
Speaking of feeling the need to get places faster, Northerners are at their rudest in their cars! Getting someone to let you out or over is often a cutthroat endeavor, there are more road-rage incidents, and the speed limits are overall higher. Moving to Nashville was definitely an adjustment, and I often find myself having to watch my speed.
Another driving difference I have noticed is that Southerners are much more cautious (sometimes annoyingly so) when it comes to changes in weather. If any ice, rain or snow has fallen recently, everyone slows down immensely. In Michigan, you will see people going 5 mph over the speed limit with 6 inches of snow on the ground.
On the subject of climate, weather in the South and the North is obviously very different. While it does reach warmer temperatures in the summer, cold and snow cover the North for a solid part of the year. In the South, if even the threat of snow is present, schools and whole towns shut down. For example, Atlanta this year.
I love food. While fast food chains aren’t necessarily my first choice, there are some pretty great ones down here that have little to no presence in Michigan. For example, Chick-Fil-A and Zaxby’s.
On the other hand, the biggest thing the South lacks for me is 7-Eleven. I just really love Slurpees and being able to run to this convenience store for their signature frozen drink year-round would be amazing!
In the end, we’re all blessed to live in this wonderful, diverse country of ours. Share your stories of cultural differences you’ve come across in the comments. Also, which region would you rather live in and why?