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Culture shock across America

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Sophia:
Not in the Culture Shock brand, but I did read a book that served a similar function.  It was for Women business travels in the U.S.  It explained the quirks in each place.  I remember the one for Dallas (or maybe it was all of Texas.  I am in the Dallas area) was to always carry a cardigan in summer.  Seems silly to people until they've experienced the excessive air conditioning in some public areas. 

Danika:
I've lived on both US coasts as well as in the center, and one piece of advice I have is not to assume someone from somewhere else knows what your abbreviation or term means.

For example, when I lived in Massachusetts, I met a girl who said she was from "San Jose." Very few of us knew where that was. And there are several cities with that name, we weren't sure (by her looks) which one she meant and which country.

Some people say they're from "NE." New England, or Nebraska? If you're near one or the other, you might assume they mean that one, but if you're not, you will just be guessing.

People who live near San Francisco call it "The Bay Area." But when you're far from California, and you say "I'm from The Bay Area" you might get a question like "Chesapeake Bay?"

Promise:
Each region has its own words and language too. In Indiana if you eat at noon it's called dinner and a meal at  5pm is supper. Travel up to MI and it's lunch and dinner. In IN and MI fizzy drinks are called pop while in IL it's soda. If you visit the UP (upper peninsula) in Michigan, you'll think you were in anther country. People in MI show their hand with the thumb on the right to point to a location because MI is basically shaped like a hand. Words are pronounced differently everywhere. I pronounce the word p/a/r/k/i/n/g but my husband says p/a/r/k/e/n. My mom says r/u/f and I say r/o/o/f since I lived out of state for decades.

that_one_girl:
All of this is great information and it really helps!
I'm just nervous 'cause I grew up all my life on the West Coast, and lived a good while in the South.   It's easy to figure out what to do and say in both those places, but this East Coast has me stumped.  I worked as a cashier and was chewed out for saying "ma'am" to one lady, but then other people will say it's rude not to use "yes ma'am and no ma'am"

violinp:

--- Quote from: that_one_girl on March 14, 2013, 11:30:56 PM ---All of this is great information and it really helps!
I'm just nervous 'cause I grew up all my life on the West Coast, and lived a good while in the South.   It's easy to figure out what to do and say in both those places, but this East Coast has me stumped.  I worked as a cashier and was chewed out for saying "ma'am" to one lady, but then other people will say it's rude not to use "yes ma'am and no ma'am"

--- End quote ---

I've been told that many people have only experienced in a snarky context, and thus get upset at someone saying, "Yes, ma'am." There are also people who get offended at being called "ma'am" or "sir," because it means they're old. Then there are the people who just think the terms are too formal. So, it's a lot of things with the people who don't like/hate those terms.

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