Author Topic: Friend is annoyed with my answer to small talk questions of where I am from...  (Read 10362 times)

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katycoo

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Suburbs are part of the city.

I'll use my hometown as an example: I live in Sydney, but a far way out of the central business district (CBD, or commonly known as 'in town').

If i'm asked where I'm from, Sydney is a perfectly appropriate response.  If they ask where in Sydney, I'd say the greater western suburbs.  You'd say the CBD if you lived right in town, or the inner suburbs if you were 15-20 minutes out.

If a friend lived int eh CBD and wanted me to deny living in part of greater Sydney on a regular basis, I'd probably stop hanging out with them.

LifeOnPluto

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Suburbs are part of the city.

I'll use my hometown as an example: I live in Sydney, but a far way out of the central business district (CBD, or commonly known as 'in town').

If i'm asked where I'm from, Sydney is a perfectly appropriate response.  If they ask where in Sydney, I'd say the greater western suburbs.  You'd say the CBD if you lived right in town, or the inner suburbs if you were 15-20 minutes out.

If a friend lived int eh CBD and wanted me to deny living in part of greater Sydney on a regular basis, I'd probably stop hanging out with them.

Katycoo, I also live in an Australian city, and totally agree with your post.

However, from reading this thread, it seems there's a different line of thinking in America. Possibly because small towns gradually get absorbed by big cities, which probably doesn't happen so much here.

The best equivalent example I can think of, is someone saying they're from Perth, when they really live in Mandurah (70 km south). But it personally wouldn't bother me, and I would certainly never correct them in public.

gramma dishes

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I think that usually when strangers ask, they really don't want to know exactly where you live.  They just want to get a general idea of where you're from. 

So the words 'near', 'just south of...' and similar identifiers should be sufficient to give them the information they want without providing your mailing address. 

The very small town I grew up in wasn't even near any other city large enough to be recognized, so I had to just say "It's about in the middle of State, close to the border with Other State."  Then it still threw them off to mention that I really didn't even live in that town.  I lived out in the country.  (To big city dwellers, this often does not compute.  ;D  )

LilacRosey

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My brother doesz this to me and it is so annoying., LilacRosey

Twik

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I think a lot depends on who you are talking to, and how far away they live from you.

If I'm talking to someone from Ontario, I say I live in Mississauga. If I'm talking to someone from, say, Los Angeles, I say I live in Toronto, because that will likely give them a much better idea of where I'm located.

Plus, I don't have to hear them calling it "Mississogwa".
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SingActDance

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Friends and I might privately joke about people who say they live in the city when they are from the suburbs, but your friend constantly correcting you in front of strangers is very childish. Strangers don't need to know exactly where you are from. The only time my friends and I even joke is when we meet people who say, "I live in ThatCity too!" When we ask what neighborhood (the downtown area is not hugely expansive), they'll say "Oh, I live in Suburb40MinutesAway."

My best friend has a family and lives in such a suburb. While living where she does would be my own personal nightmare, it works perfectly for her and for her family. When we travel together, and people ask us where we're from, I'll always just say "We're from ThatCity."
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Iris

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Do people in the US have that good a grasp of geography? I'm an Aussie like others on this thread and to expand on katycoo's example I used to live in (what I would describe as) the outskirts of Sydney. I won't name the actual suburb, but let's say North Rocks. About 45 minutes to CBD, up to an hour or more in traffic, but there's no actual gap - it's definitely part of the same greater urban mass.

If I met someone in Sydney I would say "I live in North Rocks"
If I met someone in the central coastal NSW I would say "I live just out of Sydney" or "I live on the edge of Sydney" and elaborate if asked.
If I met someone from pretty much anywhere else I just said "Sydney" - because why do they need to know where I live and why would they know where the heck North Rocks even was, anyway?

Now I live in the largest city of my region (not very large, mind you, but quite well known) and I can't imagine rolling my eyes at someone saying they were from my city when really they were from a small town half an hour away. I know they're not trying to be part of 'my tribe' or trying to look cool and urban, they're just giving an easy answer to a small talk question. It's small talk, for Pete's sake.

OT - I lived in a small country town for a while and when a city friend made a disparaging comment about people who don't live in cities I just said "Oh? Where do you get your food?"
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Victim Of Fate

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Suburbs are part of the city.

I'll use my hometown as an example: I live in Sydney, but a far way out of the central business district (CBD, or commonly known as 'in town').

If i'm asked where I'm from, Sydney is a perfectly appropriate response.  If they ask where in Sydney, I'd say the greater western suburbs.  You'd say the CBD if you lived right in town, or the inner suburbs if you were 15-20 minutes out.

If a friend lived int eh CBD and wanted me to deny living in part of greater Sydney on a regular basis, I'd probably stop hanging out with them.

Katycoo, I also live in an Australian city, and totally agree with your post.

However, from reading this thread, it seems there's a different line of thinking in America. Possibly because small towns gradually get absorbed by big cities, which probably doesn't happen so much here.

The best equivalent example I can think of, is someone saying they're from Perth, when they really live in Mandurah (70 km south). But it personally wouldn't bother me, and I would certainly never correct them in public.

I don't know about that. I have family who live in Western Sydney, about 30k from the CBD. I've told people that I've met who are from Sydney (I live in London), that I've got family in Sydney and when I've described where, they've said "Oh, well that's not really Sydney."

I think there is a general attitude among a lot of people that the city borders end just beyond their own home. I've met people who live in the West End of London who think that "London" refers only to the city centre. I've met people from the inner city who think that "London" is the city centre and the inner city, and I personally think "London" refers to the continuous metropolitan area, because I live in the suburbs.

And people get very defensive over it. There's a cachet to living in a major city, and I guess people who live in a city get annoyed that this prestige is reduced by people outside the city claiming that they live there.

It's rude to point it out though.

Victim Of Fate

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^ NYC has suburbs in New Jersey (Hoboken and jersey city for example), which are in fact as often as not quicker commutes to mid-town then the outer boroughs of NYC itself!  And both our football teams, NY Giants and NY Jets actually play in NJ.

NYer's love to rag on Jersey, friendly ribbing about how isn't as cool, smells, etc, and yet I can't imagine if traveling outside the metro area any NYer taking umbrage to someone from Hoboken saying they were coming from NYC.

There's an episode of How I Met Your Mother where Ted and Barney try to score with two New York women by pretending to be naive out-of-towners. The plan is working until one of the girls suggests that they all four go back to the girls' apartment in New Jersey, prompting a lengthy rant from Ted about how people from New Jersey shouldn't claim to be from New York.

Thipu1

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I don't know why people are so down on NJ.

  Yes, Jersyites often identify themselves by exits on the Turnpike. It's sort of an inside joke with them.  Central New Jersey does exist and has lovely towns.

One of the reasons we identify ourselves by Brooklyn neighborhood is that we often get an unexpected response such as, 'Oh, I grew up on 6th Avenue just north of Garfield.  Is Neergarde still in business?'. This often leads to interesting stories of our neighborhood in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. 

Since neither of us grew up in Brooklyn, this local history is of great interest to us. 

wx4caster

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Your friend is being pedantic. Small talk does not require GPS coordinates.

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If I met someone in Sydney I would say "I live in North Rocks"
If I met someone in the central coastal NSW I would say "I live just out of Sydney" or "I live on the edge of Sydney" and elaborate if asked.
If I met someone from pretty much anywhere else I just said "Sydney" - because why do they need to know where I live and why would they know where the heck North Rocks even was, anyway?
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Precisely.
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Zilla

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I have seen online many people just saying New York when they actually live in the suburbs outside NY.  Or Chicago when again they live in the suburbs.  I myself live in a tiny town outside a major city and in a scenario like that, I would say the major city.  It isn't that big of a deal and she needs to back off a bit.  Tell her that by you saying you live in Major City in NO way affects her at all and to please stop correcting you.

jaxsue

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I think a lot depends on who you are talking to, and how far away they live from you.

If I'm talking to someone from Ontario, I say I live in Mississauga. If I'm talking to someone from, say, Los Angeles, I say I live in Toronto, because that will likely give them a much better idea of where I'm located.

Plus, I don't have to hear them calling it "Mississogwa".

I'm in NJ but am very familiar with Toronto (dad is from there), so I'd ask you what part of Toronto. I have lots of family in Mississauga. But like you, I'd start bigger/more general.

Seriously, people say "Mississogwa"?  :o

jaxsue

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^ NYC has suburbs in New Jersey (Hoboken and jersey city for example), which are in fact as often as not quicker commutes to mid-town then the outer boroughs of NYC itself!  And both our football teams, NY Giants and NY Jets actually play in NJ.

NYer's love to rag on Jersey, friendly ribbing about how isn't as cool, smells, etc, and yet I can't imagine if traveling outside the metro area any NYer taking umbrage to someone from Hoboken saying they were coming from NYC.

There's an episode of How I Met Your Mother where Ted and Barney try to score with two New York women by pretending to be naive out-of-towners. The plan is working until one of the girls suggests that they all four go back to the girls' apartment in New Jersey, prompting a lengthy rant from Ted about how people from New Jersey shouldn't claim to be from New York.

That was a great episode. IIRC they manage to make a NYC cop mad with their NJ comments, and the cop's from Newark!  :)

jaxsue

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I don't know why people are so down on NJ.

  Yes, Jersyites often identify themselves by exits on the Turnpike. It's sort of an inside joke with them.  Central New Jersey does exist and has lovely towns.

One of the reasons we identify ourselves by Brooklyn neighborhood is that we often get an unexpected response such as, 'Oh, I grew up on 6th Avenue just north of Garfield.  Is Neergarde still in business?'. This often leads to interesting stories of our neighborhood in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. 

Since neither of us grew up in Brooklyn, this local history is of great interest to us.

I'm far from being a native; I've only lived here for 6 yrs. But, like you, I like hearing the natives talk about how it used to be. It's fascinating.