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Posted by Carole C in NOLA on 9/28/03 at 11:41 (131460)

Louisiana has suffered with negative stereotypes for years, and sometimes they can be reinforced by posts like one that was recently deleted (thanks, Judy). Be that as it may, I'd like to say some positive things about Louisianians such as myself, and about Louisiana.

Like all states we have challenges to overcome, but I'd like to mention that we have a lot to be proud of, as well. From our Cajun and Creole food, our interesting cultural mix, our colorful history and traditions, our jazz and other music, our stunning architecture, our beautiful wetlands, our festivals, our language(s) and ways of speaking, our joie de vivre, and more, you will find a lot more positive aspects of Louisiana than you might expect. When the cane needs harvesting, or the shrimp are running, there is a lot of hard work to be done but afterwards 'Son of a gun, gonna have big fun on the bayou', as the song goes, and we do.

Although I've lived in seven states, I'm proud to call Louisiana home. It is distinctively different from any other state I've lived in. Southern Louisiana in particular is like another country inside the U.S., though subject to the laws and governance of the U.S. In many respects southern Louisiana is more like southern European countries than like the rest of the south, culturally speaking.

For those who live elsewhere, I'm sure your state has a lot to offer too.

Carole C

Re: Louisiana!

BevN. on 9/28/03 at 11:55 (131463)

We know you have that guest room, Carole , so some day we hope to take advantage of it and see some of your great New Orleans :) Bev

Re: Louisiana!

Carole C in NOLA on 9/28/03 at 12:04 (131469)

I sure do! It's got a window with a southern exposure, too. :)

I hope some day you and others have the opportunity to see Louisiana, which I truly believe is one of America's greatest unknown treasures.... unknown due in part to the bad stereotypes.

Carole C

Re: Louisiana!

marie on 9/28/03 at 12:18 (131474)

I have been to Lousiana a number of times and have always had a delightful time. Thanks for sharing about your state. I love the south as that is were I spent most of my childhood. Have you developed an accent since you've been living there? Every time I'm in the south for more than a few days my accent returns...I don't seem to have any control over it...it's really pretty funny...not the accent just that I have no control. Maybe you could share some shots of your surrounding area.

best wishes marie

Re: Accents and speech in southern Louisiana

Carole C in NOLA on 9/28/03 at 12:51 (131501)

Surprisingly, people in the New Orleans area don't often have a stereotypical southern accent. It's more likely to be a French accent, or else a 'Yat' accent that sounds like it's from Brooklyn or New Jersey but with French thrown in now and then.

You may wonder what a Yat is. It's someone with a Yat accent. The 'Yat' accent comes from the slang phrase, 'Where y'at?' which means 'How are you?' or 'What's up?'. Another such phrase is 'How's you mama and dem?' I don't really speak like that though I can respond in kind. My friend Frank grew up here but moved to Connecticut. He speaks with a Yat accent, and his friends in Connecticut find it hard to believe he's a native New Orleanian. They think he's from New Jersey. LOL

When I lived in Baton Rouge, especially, I found that even my schoolgirl French came in very handy. People often mix French and English, though not really a refined version of each. Older people will refer to a sidewalk as a 'banquette'; neighborhoods are 'faubourgs' such as the Faubourg Marigny or the Faubourg Treme. People in southeastern Louisiana 'make groceries' rather than going grocery shopping (that always makes me think they must have a magic wand - - Et voila! Groceries! LOL But the phrase 'make groceries' is probably direct translation from the French).

In northern Louisiana, the accent often seems to be more southern. Of course when someone from up there moves down here, they can be heard speaking with that sort of accent.

I have been told that I don't have a southern accent, but who can say? I suspect that the origin of my accent would be difficult to guess at this point. :)

Carole C

Re: Accents and speech in southern Louisiana

marie on 9/28/03 at 13:05 (131510)

That's so interesting. I have only been in the southern part of New Orleans. It just amazes me how many different cultures excist within our country. They have a flavor of our past ancestors but are uniquely American.

Thanks for the info.


Re: Accents and speech in southern Louisiana

Phil C. on 9/28/03 at 13:43 (131528)

Louisiana is a cool place. The only thing I did not like about it are some of the snakes from down there. I am afraid one may have found its way to this board.

Re: Accents and speech in southern Louisiana

marie on 9/28/03 at 13:50 (131531)

Phil that's not nice!