Cultural Oddities

Many people in New Hampshire, Maine, and other states bordering Quebec speak French, and many signs are bilingual in English and French.

What are other interesting cultural facts? This is a sequel of sorts of my Geographical Oddities thread.

People in Montana give distance in time.

“How long is the drive?”
“Oh, about three hours.”

In England alot of people say “pudding” instead of “dessert”. How crazy is that?

Don’t most Americans do that?

Hm, I dunno. I’ll have to think about this; around here we are all perfectly ordinary and everything makes sense, so what is there to say? :cool:

In California, too. Seriously, 100 miles away, but on a clear highway, is chronologically closer than 100 miles away, but switching between highways and roads that are always backed up or that meander through mountains with lower speed limits. It’s useful information.

Okay a real one now. There are now more native Polish speakers in Dublin than native Irish speakers.

Yeah, but it assumes everyone has a car. That’s why I think its more common in the western US than in the more urbanized east. New Yorkers and Bostonians for example are more likely to give distances as distances.

Lessee…New England has frappes which I guess is what milkshakes are called most other places (I’m not into that whole scene so I might have gotten it wrong). Then there is the clam chowder schism.

And there are more native Spanish speakers in the United States than there are native English speakers in Canada.

My Asian room mate at university counted on her fingers in an entirely different fashion than was intuitive to me. When we would play charades, for instance, she would hold up the OK sign, (circle with thumb and first finger, other three fingers sticking up), for ‘three words’.

I would always respond, ‘okay’, and she’d roll her eyes, and keep doing it till I got it. Usually there was slapping of foreheads involved.

They do that in Nevada, too. As I’m usually the one giving directions around here, I’m not entirely sure what the cultural norm is in Wisconsin.

In New Mexico, some give distance in beers. :smiley:

Also, Buffalo is more Catholic then Salt Lake City is Mormon.

Most people in Hawaii are of Japanese descent.

For some reason, people in California assume that many people in Hawaii are vegetarian. The best reason I heard for this assumption: “It’s just such a beautiful place, I thought…”

Except in Rhode Island, where they have cabinets.

We have cabinets in Michigan, too. That is where we keep the glasses for the milk shakes. :wink:

Yes, but in Rhode Island, after they take the glass out of the cabinet, they put the cabinet in the glass.

Ahh! Ignorance fought! I thought I had heard the term cabinet used when I was a kid (we had relatives in Rhode Island) but I hadn’t heard it since and decided I had imagined it.

Waaait, what? So if I were hanging out in Rhode Island and wanted a milkshake, I could ask for a cabinet and not be considered totally insane? Wow.

Just about everything is bilingual in New Mexico, to the point where when I’m back on the East Coast, it’s rather jarring to be on a bus/in a store/anywhere in public and not hear Spanish.

I saw Michael Jordan do this once, right after the Bulls won their 3rd championship. He counted off the 3 on his fingers…he held up his index finger, then his first two fingers in a “V,” both as you would expect, with the palm of his hand facing the camera, then he switched and did what you describe here, with the back of his hand facing the camera. It’s actually difficult for me to do in quick sequence, the way he did. I figured it was a Southern thing!

So the guy said to me, he said, “What’s this? (holding up his middle finger) Wednesday!” Then he counted off, “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.” It must be an Elwood thing.

Tonight, we ate in a family restaurant in Tipton, Indiana. On the specials chalkboard at the door, it said, “MPG + 2 sides” and a price. Miles per gallon? Nope. Mashed potatoes & gravy.

(Nott deletes an irrelevant cabinetry gag.)

I think if you ordered a milk shake in Rhode Island you’d be just fine - cabinet is a word mostly used by the old timers. But, in Newport Creamery you order an Awful Awful.