It’s been almost four years since I moved from South Carolina to Ohio. Today I realized that I’m starting to lose one of the last vestiges of my Southern upbringing when I called the Coke machine at work a “pop machine.” Normally, I would only say something like that to help others around me understand what I was saying; it’s something that’s usually painful for me to do. Today, however, it just rolled right off my tongue, and only later did I realize what I’d done. (I love this map that shows the divisions around the US of what people call a soft drink, from Coke, to pop to soda.)
I’ve never had an accent to speak of, so I hold onto the South’s little colloquialisms like “y’all,” “fixin’ to” and “Coke” as one last bit of rebelliousness against the Northern culture. I find that the longer I’m here, though, the more those things slip away; and that seemingly little thing has been one of the hardest parts of making the move up here.