Originally created 07/21/02

Don't make fun of accents when visiting the South



Dear Carson: My husband and I are planning a trip to the South to visit relatives. We are West Coast natives. From what I am told they live in a modest-sized town with traditional values.As our regions are different, are there any faux pas that are typically made by those from different regions? - When in Rome

Dear Rome: What a savvy lady you are to ask such a question! One of the most egregious faux pas is shortening a southerner's name, i.e. "Bill" for someone named "William" or "Herb" for someone named "Herbert." It is considered presumptuous. Also, it is reprehensible to mimic the accent or say how cute or quaint it is or to imply in any way that the South is backwards or not as sophisticated as a visitor's resident city.

Dear Carson: I am doing a research paper on dating etiquette and I would really appreciate it if you would answer some questions for me. Who should pay on the first date? Should the guy walk the girl to her door? In a restaurant who should order first? Should the guy pull out the chair for the girl? Should the guy open the car door and if he does should the girl lean across and unlock his door for him? - Etiquette Essay

Dear Essay: The one who initiates the date should pay on the first date. Dating situations vary. Usually the man pays, but if their pay is equal it would be smart, as well as fair, for the woman to occasionally pick up the tab. Yes, the man should walk his date to the door. In a restaurant the lady orders first or the man may order for her. If the maitre d' or hostess does not pull out the woman's chair, then the man should do so. When a couple is dressed up, going out to a special evening the man should open the car door and yes, it is considerate of the woman to lean across and unlock the door for him.