Things are…Different Down South

I know that sounds pretty obvious, but for someone who has travelled so little, the contrast between areas of the country is astounding. This trip, we were down south, ya’ll, and I noticed a lot of differences.

If you haven’t read the summary of my Georgia trip, you’ll probably want to do so now.

Done? Okay, let’s continue.

In Georgia, I don’t exactly fit in…especially where we were. We were in Columbus, GA, an Army base town (you can tell by their website how classy they are).

There were a few big differences I noticed, and I’m gracious enough to share them with you.

1. The accent. This is a pretty obvious one, but you don’t realize how contagious accents are until you’re surrounded. After two days down there, I was talkin’ in a southern accent and sayin’ “ya’ll” like I’d been sayin’ it ma whole life.

Georgia accents aren’t as harsh as, say, Arkansas accents, but they are highly contagious. I don’t think I brought it back, so no one should catch it from me.

2. The use of ma’am and sir. Along with the accent thing, most people said “ma’am” and “sir” when addressing strangers. I witnessed this in restaurants, stores and just around town. People say them in Iowa too, but not as often as down in GA. I rarely (I emphasize rarely because it’s rare) get called ma’am here, but I got called ma’am in Georgia multiple times per day. It kind of made me feel old…that’s another story.

The ma’am/sir thing could also be because it’s an Army town. The fellows in the Army are trained to call people ma’am and sir (they also call everyone by their last names…I was called “Horn” so many times. It got confusing with the other 3 Horns in the room).

3. The gentlemen hold the doors. Now don’t get me wrong, people hold the doors in Iowa too, but only if it’s not too much trouble. The fellas in Georgia went out of their ways to hold the door for us.

4. They’re…patient in restaurants. In Iowa, I’m used to being seated, scarfing down my food, getting the check before I ask for it and getting out of restaurants—all in a timely manner.

In Georgia, however, it’s different…very different. They’re in no rush. You want to sit there and talk for hours? Go for it! We ate at several restaurants, and none were in a hurry to bring us our food or our checks.

5. Less patient driving. Georgians might be patient in restaurants, but they are not patient getting there! It may have been because we were visitors and had no idea where we were going, but it seemed like drivers were very impatient. They didn’t mind cutting us off, and if we got in their way, we got death stares (we got several of these).

6. Grammar issues. Georgians don’t use the same vernacular we do. I know, that’s obvious, but some of the common word usage was just wrong! The biggest thing I notice was “we’s.” “We’s going to the store.” “We’s so proud.” We is going? Seriously? That makes no sense at all. I’m glad that didn’t rub off on me or I’d have to look into a career change.

7. Inibelity to spel. I’m a proofreader by nature (I assume it’s because I like pointing out other people’s mistakes…I’m not sure). Being down in Georgia made me want to invest in a giant red pen and go to town on the…town.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you know I saw several stickers on car windshields that said “Proud wife of a Army soldier.” It makes me cringe just thinking about it! I wasn’t able to get a picture of any of those (didn’t want to piss of an Army wife), but I did get pictures of some other grammar/spelling faux pas.

A-Men Hats
You might not be able to see it, but the front hat says “Jesus is my Boss A-men.” Since when has amen been hyphenated? Is this a new rule? Let me check my AP Stylebook…Nope!

Girl Friend
This shirt says “Proud Army Girl friend.” Man, Army spouses can NOT spell! Girlfriend is one word, folks.

This we'll defend
This one’s more of a pet peeve than an error. “This we’ll defend” is in passive voice (if you want an easy-to-remember example of passive voice, remember Yoda). In marketing/PR writing, we don’t use passive voice. Why couldn’t the Army say “We’ll defend this.” That’s much clearer.

Haha oops. How did that get in there? That’s certainly not my best look!

I hope you enjoyed the spelling errors as much as I did. Do you have any pictures of grammar errors? Shirts, ads, posters? Post them in the comments!


3 thoughts on “Things are…Different Down South

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