Once we get to college, we are automatically thrown into a world that is much bigger than the one we previously knew. Suddenly, we are not amongst the same people we have known our whole lives from our hometowns. We are amongst people from all across the world. It is an opportunity to find out how much we have in common but also to realize how much our home has shaped us.
The biggest identifier that someone grew up in a different area are dialectal differences. Here are a few that I found once I came to college, mostly inspired from my upbringing in a Pennsylvania Dutch town:
1. Car-a-mel or Carmel?
I do know that the officially 'correct' pronunciation is care-a-mel. I totally understand that. But, both pronunciations are socially accepted. And, I will always side with the car-mel pronunciation. Why? How do you pronounce car? Enough said.
2. Tennis shoes or sneakers?
I had always thought that tennis shoes were for tennis and running shoes for running. Sneakers are just the general footwear for going to the gym or a casual walk. When I met my good friend from Seattle, however, I found out that the West Coast refers to all athletic shoes as sneakers. This is jarring for me. Why would tennis shoes be for anything other than tennis? The world may never know.
3. Roundabout or rotary?
I am honestly not sure if I have a preference for this one. I usually say roundabout, but I have also heard people say rotary.
4. Pop or soda?
5. Dippy eggs or sunny side up eggs?
Okay, the next two are specifically Pennsylvania Dutch. Up until college, I could order dippy eggs and get eggs that you dip toast in. It made perfect sense to me. Dippy eggs are the ones with the dippy yolk. No one knows what I am talking about with this though. Most people assume I am talking about some kind of soft-boiled eggs. I have learned to ask for sunny side up eggs or over-easy eggs whenever I order breakfast but it does not slip off my tongue as dippy eggs does.
6. Chicken Pot Pie is or isn't a pie?
I grew up with a wonderful soup filled with chicken, square noodles, potatoes, and the most wonderful broth. Apparently, the rest of the world grew up with a pie. I get that I am from the only region that does not have Chicken Pot Pie as a pie but that does not mean I am any less disturbed by this.
7. On line or in line?
My roommate is from Long Island. It bothers me so much when she says, "I am going to stand on line." I imagine her standing on top of someone's head waiting to buy her groceries. If we are forming a line, we are in the line. She says it is all because you stand on the ground for a line but the whole time you are within a line. I understand all of the other differentiations but this one just bothers me and gives me never-ending fodder to bother my roommate with.