Essay about English: Midwestern United States and Wisconsin

Submitted By syphonater
Words: 800
Pages: 4

Matthew Beyer
Dr. James Watkins
English 105: First Year Writing Seminar I
31 January 2015
The Ways and Words of a Wisconsinite
A lot of people have misconceptions about how people act and speak in my home state of Wisconsin. Just because someone is from Wisconsin doesn’t mean we eat cheese all day and speak like we are from Fargo, North Dakota. I grew up in southern Wisconsin, in a small town called Genoa City. When I joined the military and was stationed in California, I got to hear all the jokes about being from Wisconsin. People were surprised that I didn’t have pasty skin and wasn’t overweight. I also didn’t sound like Jerry Lundergarten from the movie Fargo. The best one I always loved hearing (sarcasm), where are the brats and cheese? I am going to be writing about the dialect, membership and values I experienced growing up in Wisconsin. Along the way, I am going to clear up some misconceptions and stereotypes about Wisconsinites. Wisconsin is divided by two main dialects. The two dialects that split the state are the Inland North and Upper Midwest dialects. The Inland North is the dialect in which I spoke and grew up hearing. What some would call a “drinking fountain”, I would call a “bubbler”. The Inland North dialect can be heard in Utica, New York to Green bay Wisconsin. It also extends down to across central Illinois from Chicago to St. Louis. Inland North is the dialect which makes up for most of southern Wisconsin. Once you are in Green Bay, you will start to heat hear a mix of both Inland North and Upper Midwest dialects being spoken. Green Bay is the border, everything north is mostly Upper Midwest. People often mistake that everyone in Wisconsin has an Upper Midwest dialect, which can be heard in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. With that being said everyone in Wisconsin that uses the Inland American dialect doesn’t sound like they are from the movie Fargo. What the people are most known for in Wisconsin and what I believe is our membership that connects us is cheese and drinking. Even though we love to eat it, we hate the jokes that come with it. Wisconsin is the biggest producer of cheese in the United States. For some reason because my state produces a lot of cheese, I am then perceived as a farmer who grew up with hundreds of cows. I think people forget there are major cities in Wisconsin like Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay. I like many people from Wisconsin didn’t grow up on a farm. Though most of the southern counties are rural, there are some pockets of larger cities. Drinking alcohol is another one that we as Wisconsinites embrace, but most are not proud of. Wisconsin has a pretty bad reputation with the use of alcohol. Granite the state’s statistics are always pretty high for underage and binge drinking. The state law that allows minors to drink in a bar with the presence of their parent or guardian doesn’t help are