Tuesday, December 30, 2014


My nephew posted an online quiz which purports to show whether you are a northerner or southerner.  No one's expectations for the accuracy of such entertainments is high - they are there for fun.  He is currently placed to be thinking about it a lot.  He is a Massachusetts boy studying at Tufts who has some of his graduate work at Emory at the moment.  And a southern girlfriend.

It was fun for me, too, though for different reasons.  I am always intrigued by what stories people tell about themselves and about others - what stereotypes they want to believe.

First, the quiz has to have been written by a southerner.  How do we know that, without having read a single word of a single question?  Because only southerners divide the country in two, contrasting themselves with northerners.  Everyone else sees several sections of the country: Midwest, West Coast, Northwest or Southwest.  Texas and Alaska both see themselves compared to the rest of the country.

The questions were clearly scored along an axis of Just Folks vs. Fancy and Maybe Artificial. Prefer expensive suburb, urban apartment, anything cheap, small town? Atlanta has some pretty gracious suburbs and the Research Triangle sure has apartments. Still, we know what they mean.

Am I ruining your enjoyment for the sake of mine?


james said...

Not at all. I've tended to be a bit less charitable in my "Where do they get these questions" reaction. I hadn't taken that one, but those are good analyses.

Sam L. said...

Why no link, so's we can try it for ourselves?

Anonymous said...

People told me I'm not a Southerner because I wrote down the actual history concerning Sherman and the Democrat party's war.

It's the same tribal dynamics as people who think MLK and Malcom X were assassinated by the KKK or white people. That Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat or that the KKK was a Republican loyal creation.

Carpet baggers, War of Northern Aggression, Tyrant Lincoln, all of those held back the South for so many generations. And by that, I mean the myths held people back, the same way blacks are held back by their creation myths designed to keep them down. These generational myths are passed on down, even now, but since the Democrat party no longer has economic and religious control of Southerners, their poison has lessened.

bs king said...

I've been working with a consultant recently who lives in Atlanta, and his biggest comment on the differences between the two cities is our pedestrians. He feels Boston pedestrians lack both decorum and self preservation.

Also, I like your commentary about this being written by a southerner. I think the other interesting note is that "north" always means "northeast". There is no part of these things that is talking about the Dakotas or Washington or Idaho.

Sam L. said...

OK, found the link, started...and closed it. Questions didn't have the answers I'd give, so it was a waste of time. Kinda like Tommy Frank's "What's The Matter With Kansas".

Doug said...

I've found this to be an interesting/fun place to live. There are even multiple peakbagging lists to accomplish (my favorites currently include the Southern Sixers (53) and Georgia 4000 footers (26).
BS King: I think the focus on self preservation might be based on the lack of capital invested in pedestrian friendly infrastructure. Walking in Atlanta is an adventure in itself (sidewalks randomly end in bushes) and individuals partaking in non-motor transportation (mostly bicyclists, but also people walking) have been targets of drive by can and bottle throwing.