Friday, August 24, 2007

Look away, Dixie land

I enjoy travelling, and did a lot before wheelchair, family responsibilities, etc. I like seeing different places and different things. Offbeat is okay, too. I like to take pictures of road signs of places I'm going or where I've been. You never know if it might be important. Or not. On a family trip some years ago, I noticed this one on US 1 at the PA-MD state line. It is, of course, that famed Mason-Dixon line, the sort of divide that separates the North from the South. A psychological barrier? I couldn't say, although I have spoken to people up here that thought the line was actually in the deep south. Further north than northerners think. I don't think that there is really that much difference between the regions these days (although Miss Bee might differ on that). Some rural areas up north are probably as insular as rural areas in the south. Urban areas such as Atlanta have as much sprawl and traffic as northern cities as Boston and New York. Even the local TV news readers down south have no noticeable accent (to me, anyway). The local TV news is such that news anchors in New Orleans are as un-accented as those in New York (who don't have a New Yawk accent themselves). It's like much of the noticeable differences between regions are slowly disappearing. Is it because so many snowbirds have moved south and west and have brought their non-accents which is slowly decimating twangs, drawls and other local nuance? I like regional differences and hope it stays that way...

5 comments:

Lynn said...

That's really interesting info. I am guilty of thinking that the Mason-Dixon line was further south. (clearly geography is not my forte). As far as accents, as a transplanted New Yorker...I worked very hard to lose my accent once I move to California, although I can still turn it on at will.

AndreAnna said...

I like some regional nuances too... coinsidering the size of our country, when compared to Europe, you go as far as NJ to Ohio and are in another country, with an entirely different language, customs, culture, etc. Crazy when you think about it. I think it's great to try and preserve some of that.

But at the same time, I think about how great it is that we're all melding together, becoming one color, one tongue...Not many other countries can say that.

Linda said...

Even if you don't hear it in their voices, I think one of the biggest differences between North and South is that people in the South just seem to be more welcoming and open. One of the best vacations I had was doing a battlefield tour through Virginia and the people were just so nice down there.

We here in New England have a reputation for being cold and unapproachable and at times I have certainly noticed that and have even caught myself acting that way. I don't think it's intentional, I think it's one of the regional differences that you wrote of.

Oh, and I actually did know where the Mason-Dixon Line was but that's because I have always enjoyed the history of the Civil War.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

attitude. that is the biggest difference i can see. but you are right in that the north and the south are blending more and more. my greatest surprise was when we moved to florida, it is NOT a southern state and i did not know that before moving there. what a shock!!! horrible!!! i still love standing in line in grocery stores in the south and talking to strangers. and i always will!

smiles, bee

Patti said...

to weigh in here, I noticed the friendliness factor as far north as Pennsylvania...people working in the motels and restaurants, etc. were much nicer than here in New England.

And the same goes for Ohio.