The Deep South is a different country; they do things differently there. So let’s talk, fellow Southerner Dopers!
Okay, so the first debate will be what compromises the Southern United States. A lot of ink and blood has been spilled on this subject. I think its reasonable to define the South as a geographical area extending roughly from Virginia on down to east Texas, including the Florida Panhandle, which areas share a similar culture, cuisine, history, and dialect.
Onto more interesting topics: your family, eccentric, certifiably insane, or both?
Favorite Southern artists and writers? Gotta be Truman Capote for me.
Got any Confederate ancestors? Got any Union ancestors?
Are your parents Southerners or Yankee transplants? Believe it or not, it makes a difference. One of my Americorps teammates is from Arkansas, and has a thick Southern accent. To anyone else she probably seemed as Southern as could be, but I picked up pretty quick that she didn’t drink sweet tea, had never eaten pecan pie, etc. – it didn’t surprise me at all when she told me that she had Yankee parents.
Speaking of accent, oh the [aː] – the ‘ah’ in Ah – how you confuse others so. I asked one of my teammates “Anyone got a lighter?”
Now, to me, the two words sound distinct. Lighter is [laːter] and ladder is [läːder]. But all they hear is “lah-dahr”. I’ve also gotten into trouble over the famous “ice/ass” confusion, but once again to me they sound totally different: *ice *is [aːs] while *ass *is [äːs] (or at least that’s the best I can transcribe it – ass is actually sort of like “Ai-ess”.)
You more of a blues person or a jazz person? Me, I love the blues but I’m from Mississippi, so that’s just genetic memory.
Weirdest question someone’s asked you about your home state. I think for me it was the little girl in California who asked me if we spoke English in Mississippi. That or my Maryland friend who was convinced Mississippi was located under Oklahoma (!?).