My Southern Charm Means No Harm

I was raised a southerner and my language is not unique to other southerners; however over the years I have realized how different southern lingo is too much of the world. I began to notice this diverseness over a period of time in which I became acquainted with different people around the world via the internet. I would like to share with you my thoughts concerning my southern charm.

Here in the South, it is a common thing to hear such words as Darling, Hun, Baby or Sweetheart; in fact just walking into my local Wal-Mart or Dollar Store you will hear these words spoken often by everyone from customers to store employees but to some of my northern and/or international friends these words are considered offensive or reserved for closer relations. To illustrate this point further, I must convey to you a situation that happened to me online.


Around four years,I was chatting with a few friends at an online chat site, when a young lady happened to logon and she immediately said hello and as any sensible southerner, I said hello darling, and then like lightning from the heavens above this young lady exploded into continuous rants about not being my darling and how dare I call her that; needless to say I was horribly shocked but fortunately (thanks to my friends) I escaped without therapeutic help.

This experience and many others over the past years have deepened my respect for other people’s feelings and also brought to my attention the unique perspective of words and phrases within each culture, but it still amazes me how one word can mean one thing to one person and something completely different to another; for instance, one of my dearest companions thought very strangely of me when I called her”My Lady” which is an old English term meaning honor and respect, but to her it meant something a little more personal but once I explained what I meant,she completely understood.

In conclusion,we all have words, phrases and unique ways of communicating to those around us because Providence made each of us different but our differences should not be a stumbling block; instead we should take the time to understand one another. If I have learned anything from my experiences, it would be to respect the cultural differences of this wonderful world.


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