Nature and Nurture.
Its who we are.
Here is mine.
I have a quarter Scotch/Irish blood, a quarter Pennsylvania Dutch blood, and the rest originated somewhere around Central Europe (Russian/Polish/German borders). Incidentally, it is also a mixture of two religions -- jewish and protestant. My last name is an Ellis Island name munged from the central-european-originated side of the family.... That's why everyone on the bleedin' planet mispronounces it. (any of Ho'-dess or Ho'-dis or Ho'-dez will do.)
You can't get much more of a white mutt. And with Scottish, Irish, and Russian in me.... boyoboy can I make good vodka drinks.
I was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and born in Hollywood, Florida (outside Miami). This makes me a Southerner. For the last decade I have lived in Virginia and California; since this is a good portion of my adult life, I would have to include them on the list of places that have indelibly colored my cultural perspective. Virginia isn't much of a stretch from Georgia, but California certainly is different. The most annoying thing is that everyone in Cali thinks Southerners are all a bunch of hicks. This is annoying. It's like saying all New Yorkers are obnoxious.... oh.... well... whoops, guess they are. Where was I going with this?
I am a fan of Southeastern living... but because I was raised there, we can infer that the process by which I came to this conclusion ain't bloody rocket science.
Southern culture is unfortunately sorely lacking in NoCal. Shades of it in Oakland/Berkeley. Thank the lord for Oaktown.
A final biased thought: "y'all" is the only way to address a mixed-sex crowd without sounding stilted or being rude ("you guys"). Live it. Learn it. Deal with it. ;)
Think you know about the south? Take the Southerner test and find out!
Why do you care? I have no idea! If you actually *read* all this drivel, I'm very impressed by your thoroughness. Send me an email and tell me about *you*.