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Old 10-05-2009, 02:36 PM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,048,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
It depended on class and where you are in the South. The South is a bit like old England in that it did have something of a class-system. If you were "white trash" or "hillbilly" you were likely going to stay that way and your manners would be more "low." Lower-class Southerners could therefore be blunt to the point of rudeness as I imagine was true of lower-class English in the nineteenth c. The more aristocratic Southerners were to be more genteel. (Poor-white Southerners remain a class perpetually "low" in most popular estimation)

Still I think respect for age tends to matter more in the South. Even among my relatively low-class Southern relatives you respect your elders and call them "sir" or "ma'am" or an equivalent. They didn't get dressed up though, except for formal occasions where people everywhere get dressed, and in some respects I'd say they were more informal than Northerners I know. Even moreso than poor Northerners.

Although some of this may no longer be as true as much of the South has "assimilated" to varying degrees.
I agree. Looking just at middle class Southerners, they are more formal than their counterparts in the rest of the country. It is more rare to see a middle class Southerner in blue jeans than in the rest of the country. Also, Southerners frequently train their children to address adults formally (Yes, sir, yes ma'am) than the rest of the country, and they maintian this into adulthood. Parties and other social events are more formal. Dress codes are more frequent in the South. I went to a nice restaurant in rural South Georgia a couple years ago, and all the women were wearing dresses and all the men wore coats and ties. Here in the Twin Cities at a comparable place you may see some coats/ties/dresses, but you'd also see kahkis, dressy casual shirts on the men, and slacks on the women.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
8,900 posts, read 13,238,552 times
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My southern friends laugh how I use forks and knives for everything. They eat with their fingers a lot more than I do. They made fun of me when I used a fork and knife for chicken fingers. I guess people from the north have more table manners, lol. I never use my fingers for anything. Most people I know use a fork with fries.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Underneath the Pecan Tree
15,989 posts, read 30,677,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael84 View Post
My southern friends laugh how I use forks and knives for everything. They eat with their fingers a lot more than I do. They made fun of me when I used a fork and knife for chicken fingers. I guess people from the north have more table manners, lol. I never use my fingers for anything. Most people I know use a fork with fries.
Why the hell would we use a fork to eat chicken fingers and fries? weird. I wouldn't say anyone is less-mannered just because they use their hands to eat some foods.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:51 PM
 
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Most agreed. As a native Texan and still a current resident. The situation, and locale dictate many things. Sir and Ma'am are common in usage when addressing a person, and not necessarily of your elder. Customer service reps (I managed a bunch for a while) were instructed to use this term regardless of age, as a term of respect when addressing a customer. Formal business attire still holds firm in financial real estate sectors, and casual fridays means you don't wear a tie, and women can wear skirts instead of dresses. However, I have also seen the starched jeans dressed up with a coat and tie, and very common in places with dress codes (not full formal) but church services are different. Everyone, even small children are dressed as well as their social ranks allow (IE $). If you are leaving DFW airport, if you see a suit, its business, most everyone else is dressing for ease and comfort, especially when dealing with TSA. It also depends on your heritage, such as if you were raised in the south. You can tell transplants from natives. Natives will talk to a fence post, while transplants will ignore you to the point you can literally jump and down calling their name, and if they are not of the notion to acknowledge you, they won't. Totally fun if you know the person embarrasses easily. I did this to an old boss of mine in a Target once (he couldn't handle confrontation) he turned so red and ran out of the store without half his stuff. All I wanted him to do was say hi!!!! Its courtesy, just like opening doors for women. Now, when was the last time you held a door open for a woman......
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:56 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,076 posts, read 35,028,118 times
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I do think there is a bit more adherence to tradition in the South. We still wear black tie at weddings after six, boys wear ties to their college Homecoming game, girls are presented to society at 18 and most important...cocktail hour is still observed before dinner.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Denver
6,628 posts, read 12,507,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
I agree. Looking just at middle class Southerners, they are more formal than their counterparts in the rest of the country. It is more rare to see a middle class Southerner in blue jeans than in the rest of the country. Also, Southerners frequently train their children to address adults formally (Yes, sir, yes ma'am) than the rest of the country, and they maintian this into adulthood. Parties and other social events are more formal. Dress codes are more frequent in the South. I went to a nice restaurant in rural South Georgia a couple years ago, and all the women were wearing dresses and all the men wore coats and ties. Here in the Twin Cities at a comparable place you may see some coats/ties/dresses, but you'd also see kahkis, dressy casual shirts on the men, and slacks on the women.
I'm not so sure I agree with you about Southerners not wearing jeans as much as other people...however they do wear jeans with sandals more than anyone else in the country haha.

As far as "Yes sir", "Yes ma'am" goes, that's definitely true. My parents were stunned and almost slightly unfortable when my neighbors/roommates at Clemson kept calling them sir and ma'am haha.

One thing I found was that upper-middle class Southerners seemed to be more snooty than upper class people from my area. Perhaps it was just the fraternity/sorority false sense of superiority...either way, I felt it was much more classist (is that how you spell it?) down South. But again, that may have been the d-bag frat boy factor too.

One thing they do dress more formally for: college football games. Guys in button downs and bow ties, girls in sundresses (at least the fraternities and sororities wore that).
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:07 PM
 
7,848 posts, read 18,270,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmac9wr View Post
One thing they do dress more formally for: college football games. Guys in button downs and bow ties, girls in sundresses (at least the fraternities and sororities wore that).
But how were the other 90,000 people at the football game dressed? In my experience it's either in school colors or painted faces/bodies or both.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
8,900 posts, read 13,238,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jluke65780 View Post
Why the hell would we use a fork to eat chicken fingers and fries? weird. I wouldn't say anyone is less-mannered just because they use their hands to eat some foods.
lol I've never met anyone in the north who uses their hands with them. Most I know eat fries with a fork. I think those are more proper.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:13 PM
 
2,915 posts, read 3,319,772 times
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The Southern girls that I knew presented themselves to society long before 18.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
I do think there is a bit more adherence to tradition in the South. We still wear black tie at weddings after six, boys wear ties to their college Homecoming game, girls are presented to society at 18 and most important...cocktail hour is still observed before dinner.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:17 PM
 
7,848 posts, read 18,270,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael84 View Post
lol I've never met anyone in the north who uses their hands with them. Most I know eat fries with a fork. I think those are more proper.
There are MANY foods that are considered finger-foods...and french fries are one of them. Miss Manners can easily be consulted on this matter.
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