If you are from the northern states and planning on visiting or moving to the South, there are a few things you should know that will help you adapt to the difference in lifestyles: The North has sundered toe-mah-toes, The South has 'mater samiches. The North has coffee houses, The South has Waffle Houses. The North has switchblade knives, The South has Lee Press on Nails. The North has double last names, The South has double first names. The North has Ted Kennedy, The South has Jesse Helms. The North has an ambulance, The South has an amalance. The North has the Mafia, The South has the Klan. The North has Indy car races, The South has stock car races. The North has Cream of Wheat, The South has grits. The North has green salads, The South has collard greens. The North has lobsters, The South has craw dads. The North has the rust belt, The South has the Bible Belt. If you run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in a four-wheel drive pickup truck with a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for. Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store. Don't buy food at this store. Remember, "ya'll" is singular, "all ya'll" is plural, and "all ya'll's" is plural possessive. Get used to hearing "You ain't from round here, are ya?" You may hear a Southerner say "Ought!" to a dog or child. This is short for "Ya'll ought not do that!" and is the equivalent of saying "No!" Don't be worried at not understanding what people are saying. They can't understand you either. The first Southern expression to creep into a transplanted Northerner's vocabulary is the adjective "big'ol," truck or "big'ol" boy. Most Northerners begin their Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it. The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper. Be advised that "He needed kill'n" is a valid defense here. If you hear a Southerner exclaim, "Hey, ya'll, watch this," stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he'll ever say. If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the smallest accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It doesn't matter whether you need anything or not. You just have to go there. When you come upon a person driving 15 mph down the middle of the road, remember that most folks learn to drive on a John Deere, and that is the proper speed and position for that vehicle. Do not be surprised to find that 10 year olds own their own shotguns, they are proficient marksmen, and their mammas taught them how to aim. In the South, we have found that the best way to grow a lush green lawn is to pour gravel on it and call it a driveway. If you do settle in the South and bear children, don't think we will accept them as Southerners. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we wouldn't call 'em biscuits.
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