Friday, May 27, 2011


I have lived in Ohio my whole life.  I have never really dealt with much diversity.  I'm not talking about racial diversity -- which btw we have none -- differences in speach.  

Then I went to college.

BYU is different than most universities.  It is an LDS school, so most of the students are Mormon.  That also means we're not just from Utah, we come from all over the country.  It didn't take long to notice some differences in things we say.

1) Skipping school / Ditching school / Playing hookey / Sluffing school

I'm pretty sure normal people say the first three.  Utahns say the last. 

2) Ramen vs. Saimin
My favorite brand.

I should explain from the start that two of my roommates are from Hawaii, so most of our arguments revolved around what we called things.  This was one of them.  I had no idea what they were talking about when they called Ramen Saimin.  It doesn't say it anywhere on the package, so don't freak out when I call it by it's REAL name.  Well, I just googled it, and apparently Saimin is the chinese term used for the noodles, and Hawaii has lots of Asians.  Problem solved.

3) Flip flops vs. Slippers

This is another Hawaii against the rest of the United States argument.  They call their flip flops, slippers.  I tried to explain that you're supposed to wear slippers inside your house to keep your feet warm, not the beach.  Well, that didn't make much sense to them.  The usual response was, "Why would I wear shoes inside?  It's already warm."  Honestly, I prefer the term "slippers" because it doesn't take as long to say, but I feel like a freakin poser trying to use their slang. 

I'm just glad people hardly call them thongs anymore.  I don't think of shoes when I hear the word "thong".  Once one of my church leaders told us to bring thongs for Girls Camp.  I nearly fell out of my chair when she said that.

4)  Backpack vs. Bookbag

I didn't really notice this one until someone pointed it out.  I knew a couple people in Ohio that called it bookbag, but we just made fun of them because it sounded so nerdy.   I'm not sure where they say bookbag more often, but plenty of people at BYU called it that.

5) Pop vs. Soda

The ultimate argument.  I still can't believe how mad people would get when I called a carbonated drink, pop.  Awesome, you call it soda.  I don't care.  I call it pop.  Basically I had to start calling it soda at BYU, or people would suddenly hate me.  Then a friend of mine posted this picture on facebook.
This made me SO happy.  Oh well look at that.  Most of the country calls it pop.  There are a lot of students from California and Arizona at BYU, so they call it soda.  If you look very closely at Utah, you can see only two little sections that are yellow.  The northern area is Provo.  That's where BYU is.

I guess I should include those who call it Coke.  That just doesn't make any sense.  Coke is a type of pop.  If you ask for a coke, I'm going to give you a coke, not a Mountain Dew.  Freakin hillbillies. 

I can't think of any other examples right now, but I'm sure there are tons more.  This is just my opinion on the whole subject.  We all say stuff differently, but don't get mad when I call it something else.  In my eyes, you're wrong too.


  1. In Rhode Island, we don't say "sprinkles," we say "jimmies." Oh there are tons more. I study English dialectal differences for my major, English language. It's a fun major. Oh yeah, once my supervisor at BYU asked me if I was cold and I said yes!!! And he said "that's what you got for wearing thongs." And I was so confused and I felt violated. Then I thought ohhhhhhh, he meant flip flops! hahaha!

  2. Also, ice pops, freezer pops, otter pops. Where did the otters come from?

  3. Ramen is Iciban where I come from.

  4. eden, we call them freeze pops here. i have NO idea where the otter came from. i'm pretty sure they don't like frozen desserts.

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