A Regional Specialty



I had a glorious weekend in NYC celebrating my sister’s…um, milestone birthday.  The weather was ideal and we had a ball shopping and seeing some shows.


I grew up in northern NJ and lived in Manhattan for a year or so after college (before entering grad school).  So it seems like a return to the area should have some element of “home” to it.  Turns out, not so much.


The south has been my home for a long time now—first Virginia, then Georgia and now North Carolina.  My children are born and raised southerners.  And after my “big city” weekend, I’m clearly accustomed to the ways here.


It is, of course, a cliché that New Yorkers are rude, though certainly some of them are.  I would be too if I were constantly forced to deal with that many people in close quarters.  But I couldn’t help but think what I would put in a report if I were to evaluate some of the people I spoke to.


Brusque.  Several people were so brusque, I would have commented on it.


“Unable to transition topics appropriately.” (Conversation was extremely to the point)


“ No closure to communicative exchanges.”  Or “Unable to maintain exchange for more than 2 turns.” (Comments were often perfunctory)


“Lack of eye contact.” (Typical behavior on city streets for self-preservation)


So, I got to thinking about communication in my area.  How would an out-of-region SLP report on those in my town?


“Appeared to have difficulty with initiation or word retrieval.” (we tend to pull together our thoughts before starting or speak at a much slower rate)


“Difficulty maintaining topic.” (it would be rude to launch into a request without preliminary chit-chat)


“Sensory seeking.” (we do love hugs down here)


It got me thinking about communication as a whole—not what we say, so much as how we say it.


What’s your regional specialty?  Please add a comment and let me know!



This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Carol Rickey

    Here in southwestern Ohio, it’s not so much what’s said, but the way it’s said. In this area, we have people who were born and raised here and we have people who came here because of jobs, just after WWII, from southern states. My parents came from southeastern Ky. and never lost their drawl. I was born here and made a conscious choice not to sound like them. My husband’s family were all “Buckeyes” from this area, but they say things like “warsh” for wash and the kids at my school say “crowns” for crayons. My cousins in Ky. always made fun of me because I didn’t have their drawl! Life is funny!

    1. admin

      That is funny! I think I would have a difficult time if I were to transfer to a different region–particularly the midwest–and have to deal with those vowels! Kim

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.