Friday, February 01, 2008

Deep in the heart of the Midwest

Several months ago I put up a poll and some discussion about the midwest. I still get a few visitors a week looking for a map of the Midwest region. Sometimes they even ask for a shaded or colored map. I've got one. The poll got a good number of votes for a humble little blog like this one and even tho it wasn't a perfect poll some results were still enough to surprise me.

The last time I was speaking with Buffy's father the topic of the Midwest came up. He grew up in Texas and now lives in Minnesota. At one point he remarked "But Michigan isn't considered part of the Midwest is it?"

I no longer like to answer a question like that with a yes or no because there really isn't a yes or no. It depends on who's doin' the considerin'. I just told him that several voters included it in their definition of the region.

But I was interested in what he thought. What did he consider the Midwest?

"Oh I figured from Texas straight up through the plains"

I thought back to a comment I made back then. I said I found it "very unlikely that anyone would choose...Texas." And GalloPinto2's response: "Haha I bet if you called Texas a Midwestern state they would take GREAT offense!"

Maybe some Texans would. But I know one that apparently wouldn't.


  1. Ah - but does "from Texas straight up" include Texas? Because for me it doesn't. It's that "from".

    Like "What's Eastern Europe?" is "from Russia to Germany"...

    Prepositions. Doncha just love 'em?

  2. That's fair. But I think because he say "through" the plains instead of "to" the plains he was thinking inclusively on both ends.

    It's not clear but I'm going to go with it just because it forces me to consider something that I hadn't thought likely.

    Hows that for a valid scientific rationale?

  3. LOL How interesting! I figured most Texans would want to say they were from the "South"


  4. I'm from Texas, and I read "from Texas straight up" as "including Oklahoma, but not us." I sure wouldn't call us a Midwest state. But if you asked me before I moved here what I would call a Midwest state, my honest response would have to be "I don't really think about it that much."

    However, you get just as interesting a distinction with Texans on whether or not they want to be considered part of the South. Some say we're not South, we're Southwest, because the difference between the cultures of Texas (when one thinks of its Hispanic influences) and neighbouring Louisiana and Arkansas (where those are largely absent). A smaller number of people seem to think we don't really count as Southwest because we're either not physically far enough west, or because the Native American influences on our culture are not as prevalent as they are in New Mexico or Arizona.

    Me, I take offence when someone calls Texas part of the South only when it's clear from the context that such labelling is intended to mean, "and therefore, a bunch of stupid rednecks." I wouldn't take offence at being called Midwest. I'd just think you must be a foreigner or a little kid who didn't know any better.


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