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Old 08-14-2012, 11:55 AM
 
160 posts, read 335,454 times
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Like most stereotypes, upper Midwestern stereotypes are based in truth. Everything you listed is more prevalent in Minnesota than most of the country. People may exaggerate them, but that's the case with literally all stereotypes.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smash XY View Post
Minnesota is still 32 % Scandinavians and they have a much greater influence than Germans in the state.
German is essentially "Default American" since it the most common ethnicity in the US. Concentrations of other ethnicities, like Norwegian in Minnesota, tend to give a region a distinctive ethnic character.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tornado9989 View Post
I live in Minnesota, and whenever I go to a different part of the country, even down to areas like Illinois, people seem to think many false things about the upper Midwest, especially Minnesota. People think that it snows from October to May. People think we have very strong accents (We do have an accent, but it is very over-stereotyped). People think we are all Scandinavian. People think it never gets above 75 degrees. People think everyone is way to friendly. Where did all these stereotypes come from?

This is how it really is in Minnesota:

-Average year has snow from late November to mid-March. Some years has more snow than others, some have less. This year we had snow from the 3rd week in January to the 1st week of February (I'm not kidding).

-Minnesotans have slight accents. It is usually heard when we say o's. I hardly ever hear people say "You Betcha" or "Don'tcha Know". Most times I hear it people are saying it jokingly. I also hear people say "soda" more than "pop", but that's mostly in urban areas.

- Minnesota is not mostly Norwegian. It is only 16 percent Norwegian, and 9 percent from other Scandinavian countries. Minnesota is mostly German, which is about 40 percent of the population.

-Minnesota gets much warmer than most people think. The average high temperature in the summer is in the mid to upper 80's. And it doesn't get to 50 below in the winter. That only happened once or twice, way up near the Canadian border. This year was obviously much warmer than normal, with summertime highs in the mid to upper 90's for a few weeks. Even this March there were high temperatures above 80 degrees for a couple days here in SE Minnesota.

-People think everyone is nice in Minnesota. I have noticed that people here are friendlier, but there are some very rude people too.
Stereotypes are tricky. I agree that ours gets overstated quite a bit, but that's true of almost everywhere. It's just a matter of outsiders looking in, and not understanding everything perfectly.

But I think stereotypes are often rooted in truth. For instance, yes: Minnesota is more German than Scandinavian, but it is more Scandinavian than almost any other state.

No, we do not get as much snow as people seem to think. But the winters are brutal compared with pretty much any other state in the lower 48, in terms of snowfall, average temps, and average lows.

No, not everybody is nice. But I can tell you-- having lived a bit elsewhere, now-- that it is a cultural value that is unique to Minnesota and/or the Upper Midwest to not say things that are contentious, and to be able to infer messages based on context and understatement. A lot of Americans are more direct than your typical (or stereotypical) Minnesotan, in what they choose to say. Minnesotans do seem more likely to operate on the idea of "Just because I have an opinion, doesn't mean it's right or worth sharing." This is how Minnesota manages the paradox of being a heavily Christian state, with high church attendance and relatively socially conservative values, and yet people there don't have the same types of hang-ups about same sex marriage, biracial couples, alternative lifestyles, etc. My only hypothesis on this is that when you need to contend with the weather to succeed, you need to coexist peaceably with your neighbors....you can't make vendettas against them based on what they do with their lives, because you're going to need them to help you out, and they need you.

Yes, we do have accents. The big misunderstanding I encounter with this is that people from other parts of the country don't realize that our accents vary from place to place within the state. I notice from other posts you are from Rochester, and I've mentioned that my mother comes from that area. Yes, her family members' accents are pretty understated and not very "sing-songy", but it's a different story in Moorhead, a different story in Stearns County, a different story in the Cities, and definitely a different story on 'da Raaange'.

Yes, we do get a real summer. A real hot and humid summer. This one you would need to experience to understand, I suppose.

All in all, no: we are not the stereotype. But yes, we are sort of a different breed, and that's where the stereotype is coming from....
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evergrey View Post
German is essentially "Default American" since it the most common ethnicity in the US. Concentrations of other ethnicities, like Norwegian in Minnesota, tend to give a region a distinctive ethnic character.
German is maybe the "default American" in others part of the country but not in the Midwest. German is the largest ancestry in most Midwestern states since more than a century.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:26 PM
 
160 posts, read 335,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smash XY View Post
German is maybe the "default American" in others part of the country but not in the Midwest. German is the largest ancestry in most Midwestern states since more than a century.
I think you misunderstood the post you quoted, since you argued exactly the same thing.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:16 PM
 
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The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has alot of Finns and Swedes and that accent is pretty heavy over there. I used to drive a bus shuttle for Finn fest in Marquette and from what I understood the festival rotated and the Twin cities hosted Finn fest more than any other city.



Quote:
Originally Posted by rogead View Post
The "Fargo" accent is fairly limited geographically: Northwestern Minnesota and Eastern North Dakota primarily. In my entire life in Minneapolis, I've only known one person with that accent. That was an elderly neighbor who grew up in North Dakota.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,347,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srsmn View Post
Stereotypes are tricky. I agree that ours gets overstated quite a bit, but that's true of almost everywhere. It's just a matter of outsiders looking in, and not understanding everything perfectly.

But I think stereotypes are often rooted in truth. For instance, yes: Minnesota is more German than Scandinavian, but it is more Scandinavian than almost any other state.

No, we do not get as much snow as people seem to think. But the winters are brutal compared with pretty much any other state in the lower 48, in terms of snowfall, average temps, and average lows.

No, not everybody is nice. But I can tell you-- having lived a bit elsewhere, now-- that it is a cultural value that is unique to Minnesota and/or the Upper Midwest to not say things that are contentious, and to be able to infer messages based on context and understatement. A lot of Americans are more direct than your typical (or stereotypical) Minnesotan, in what they choose to say. Minnesotans do seem more likely to operate on the idea of "Just because I have an opinion, doesn't mean it's right or worth sharing." This is how Minnesota manages the paradox of being a heavily Christian state, with high church attendance and relatively socially conservative values, and yet people there don't have the same types of hang-ups about same sex marriage, biracial couples, alternative lifestyles, etc. My only hypothesis on this is that when you need to contend with the weather to succeed, you need to coexist peaceably with your neighbors....you can't make vendettas against them based on what they do with their lives, because you're going to need them to help you out, and they need you.

Yes, we do have accents. The big misunderstanding I encounter with this is that people from other parts of the country don't realize that our accents vary from place to place within the state. I notice from other posts you are from Rochester, and I've mentioned that my mother comes from that area. Yes, her family members' accents are pretty understated and not very "sing-songy", but it's a different story in Moorhead, a different story in Stearns County, a different story in the Cities, and definitely a different story on 'da Raaange'.

Yes, we do get a real summer. A real hot and humid summer. This one you would need to experience to understand, I suppose.

All in all, no: we are not the stereotype. But yes, we are sort of a different breed, and that's where the stereotype is coming from....
^^^ Exactly.

(From an almost life-long resident of Duluth, Minnesota)
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:37 AM
Status: "Be yourself. What's the alternative?" (set 24 days ago)
 
8,720 posts, read 10,854,236 times
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We lived next to a couple from Minnesota in our last locale. They were very "pleasant" people, not in your face or your life, cared about being good neighbors, which was very refreshing. Really took it hard when we left because they had grown accustomed to us. Even my occasional yelling spells that they must have heard didn't bother them too much. Salt of the earth types, temperments even keel. We met lots of Minnesotian snowbirds.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:52 AM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,806 posts, read 9,434,402 times
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I live in Polk county Minnesota up in the far northwest part of the state. 41.7 pct Norwegian according to Wikipedia. But in regards to the movie Fargo accent....no one has that strong of an accent.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Limbo
6,475 posts, read 6,189,941 times
Reputation: 6239
Quote:
Originally Posted by srsmn View Post
Stereotypes are tricky. I agree that ours gets overstated quite a bit, but that's true of almost everywhere. It's just a matter of outsiders looking in, and not understanding everything perfectly.

But I think stereotypes are often rooted in truth. For instance, yes: Minnesota is more German than Scandinavian, but it is more Scandinavian than almost any other state.

No, we do not get as much snow as people seem to think. But the winters are brutal compared with pretty much any other state in the lower 48, in terms of snowfall, average temps, and average lows.

No, not everybody is nice. But I can tell you-- having lived a bit elsewhere, now-- that it is a cultural value that is unique to Minnesota and/or the Upper Midwest to not say things that are contentious, and to be able to infer messages based on context and understatement. A lot of Americans are more direct than your typical (or stereotypical) Minnesotan, in what they choose to say. Minnesotans do seem more likely to operate on the idea of "Just because I have an opinion, doesn't mean it's right or worth sharing." This is how Minnesota manages the paradox of being a heavily Christian state, with high church attendance and relatively socially conservative values, and yet people there don't have the same types of hang-ups about same sex marriage, biracial couples, alternative lifestyles, etc. My only hypothesis on this is that when you need to contend with the weather to succeed, you need to coexist peaceably with your neighbors....you can't make vendettas against them based on what they do with their lives, because you're going to need them to help you out, and they need you.

Yes, we do have accents. The big misunderstanding I encounter with this is that people from other parts of the country don't realize that our accents vary from place to place within the state. I notice from other posts you are from Rochester, and I've mentioned that my mother comes from that area. Yes, her family members' accents are pretty understated and not very "sing-songy", but it's a different story in Moorhead, a different story in Stearns County, a different story in the Cities, and definitely a different story on 'da Raaange'.

Yes, we do get a real summer. A real hot and humid summer. This one you would need to experience to understand, I suppose.

All in all, no: we are not the stereotype. But yes, we are sort of a different breed, and that's where the stereotype is coming from....
Absolutely. Thanks for taking the time to write this out. The accent variations across the state are fun to me. I can play a little game and try to guess where they are from.
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