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Public Service Announcement

(This is the result of several recent conversations.)

No Yank am I, though Brits believe
this label, and it's a pet peeve.
I was not in New England born,
nor raised among the Yankee corn,
but rather brought up in the maize
and bright Midwestern city days.
Although no Southerner am I,
no Southern flag did ever fly,
nor yet am I from the North-East,
and so no Yank am I, at least.

America has Yankees, yes,
who with enduring happiness
embrace the term - they are not me;
I did not come from there, you see.

And thinking apropos thereof,
if I refered to people of
the British Isles, all of them,
as good, upstanding Englishmen,
a cry of indignation would
sound out: "You have misunderstood!
You Yanks, you overlook details
most critical. We are from Wales!
Or Irish! Scots! Not Englishmen!"
We all misunderstand, you ken.

If from New England we once came,
then Yank can be a proper name;
but if American and not -
we may object. It's a weak spot.



( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 24th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Apr. 24th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
Someone who admits to being from what lemur_catta describes as the boring rectangular bits in the middle.
Apr. 24th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
The flyover states, as they're also known.
Apr. 24th, 2008 06:32 pm (UTC)
Not all of the Midwest answers to that description though. I am from the Upper Midwest: raised in Michigan, then lived in Wisconsin for 15 years before moving here. Michigan is about as far as a state can get in shape from being a 'boring rectangular bit', being composed of "that bit where it looks like someone dropped a mitten on the map" (Lower Penninsula) and "that kinda long skinny bit above it thats sticks out into the the Great Lakes too" (Upper Penninsula).
Wisconsin, with one Border defined by the and another largey by the Mississippi River has some pretty darn squiggly outlines too, if not quite as distinctive ;-)
Apr. 24th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
How's that saying go? The world calls people from the US 'Yankees.' In the US, they say it's easterners; in the east, it's the north-east; in the north-east, it's New England.

In New Engladn (according to what I was told), the true Yankees are the Vermonters. And in Vermont, they say that if you don't eat apple pie for breakfast, then you're not a real Yankee.

Either that or something about outhouses. I heard this from my mother, so I suspect her of modifying it for my tender ears.
Apr. 24th, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC)
As told on Usenet by Seth Breidbart:

To a Mexican, all USAians (and maybe Canadians) are Yankees.

To a southerner, northerners are Yankees.

To a northerner, Yankees are people from New England.

To New Englanders, Yankees are people from Maine.

To people from Maine, a Yankee is a crusty old man who lives in a
small town and eats pie for breakfast with a knife.

To a crusty old man from a small town in Maine who eats pie for
breakfast with a knife, there aren't any real Yankees left.

I cannot personally vouch for the accuracy of any of this.
Apr. 24th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
Well said!

Thus saith a Yankee.
Apr. 24th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
The Yankees suck! Go Red Sox! :)

(It was very disconcerting when a Southern friend of mine called me a Yankee for the first time :)
Apr. 24th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
Yay fellow Midwesterner! Love the piece :)
Apr. 24th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
New Englander, American
I henceforth shall address this fan
Who makes her case with charm and wit
But: British, please and never 'Brit'.
Apr. 25th, 2008 07:03 am (UTC)
I dunno. After 5 years in Canada, I seem to have gotten so used to it that I even use it myself these days...
Apr. 25th, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
Can I blame Canada for doing so too, I wonder?
Apr. 25th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
A beautifully-worded request! It is just that "Brit" is so slangy, or does it have other baggage to bear?
Apr. 26th, 2008 10:26 am (UTC)
It just sounds wrong to me, somehow, and faintly disparaging -- like that new thing in US tv and film about British teeth all being 'bad', where bad means not orthodontically perfected. Not slangy, exactly but lazy and a bit dismissive.
Apr. 24th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
Neat. I claim "Yank" is different from "Yankee", however. Or would you prefer "bloody forriner"? **g,d&r**
Apr. 25th, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
Of course, if "bloody forriner" = "Yank", then there are Yanks from France and Australia?
Apr. 27th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
Nah. They are Frogs and Ozzies. We have varied subtle abuse here...
Apr. 26th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
Ah yes... while living in the south I was simply a damn yankee (one town - Cary - was often referred to as the "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees"), however here I can proudly be a New Yorker... so long as I don't root for the Yankees baseball team, that is. :)

Apr. 26th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
I've lived in the South for 20% of my life, and no one has ever called me a Yankee, but I've been called a Yank by many a Briton or Irishman.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )