Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Utah Mormons

I saw the following on an LDS blog and I thought it was pretty interesting...the person was talking about LDS people in foreign countries.

"You know all those things you used to say about Utah Mormons? That’s more or less how the rest of the world sometimes feels about American Mormons. Don’t reinforce stereotypes."

Having grown up in Utah and lived outside of Utah on both the East and West coasts I feel pretty good about my understanding of American Mormons. Growing up in Utah I lived in an area that was probably 90% or more LDS and having spent time working in Utah jobs where I was the only one not smoking, drinking or looking at porn I feel like I have seen the entire Utah resident spectrum as well.

While at BYU talking with friends and dating my wife the subject came up frequently about living in/out and raising kids inside or outside of Utah. I feel pretty strong about this issue and will discuss the themes below. That strong feeling is hard to supress in front of people that paint all Utah Mormons with the same brush. So here is my bullet list of discussion points for this sometimes sensitive nerve:
  • First and foremost, there are many flavors of personality/religiosity/style/etc amongst Utah Mormons and you can't say you understand that because you spent a few years at BYU going to school. Provo is not Utah, 18-24 year olds are not Utah, people deciding on the majority of their future (spouse, career, who you are as a person, etc) and the ensuing stress is not Utah. BYU is best described as the church mating grounds, and I mean that in a good way, I love BYU.
  • That oft quoted, but never researched claim about women in Utah having a greater incidence of depression is false and then correlating this with LDS women is even more false. I had a BYU professor call up the initiator of this claim and ask for his methods and materials. After quite a lot of harassment he finally admitted that his brother was a pharmacist in Utah and it seemed to him like he gave out more depression medication in Utah than he did outside of Utah when he was in school! Can you believe it? I tried to get funding when I was at BYU in the honor's program to conduct a real study and put this false claim to rest, but didn't get it.
  • Utah bankruptcy issue has also been mostly proved to be a non-LDS issue. The rate of bankruptcy in Utah amongst non-LDS people is actually greater than that amongst LDS people. I believe it is due to the nature of the economy, this is why I chose not to work in Utah.
  • Many people in the "its better to grow up outside of Utah" school of though have suggested that they are glad they grew up outside of Utah because it helped them with their testimony being around others that were not of the same belief as them. They also incorrectly state that when growing up inside Utah everybody is the same so they have no reference for differentiation and therefore no way to develop their "own" testimony. My answer to that is: in Utah I couldn't use the church as a crutch and had to therefore actually use my testimony. When those that offered me alcohol on a wrestling tournament were LDS I had to say that I wouldn't do it because I didn't want to, not because my church doesn't want me to. Ironically, it helped my testimony being around others that were of the same faith as me, yet pulling me in bad directions.
  • I didn't choose to raise my family in Utah for career reasons, but chose an area that has a relative high density of LDS families. I believe this is the best of both worlds. My kids won't have a difficult time finding LDS kids to date seriously (sorry Jodee, you are amazing and we love you tons) and they still can interact with people who aren't LDS and have the beneficial experiences that come with that. This relates to the discussion also because I don't think I could live in an area where my kid is the only LDS one in the high school.
  • With all the above being said, I think it all comes down to the family. You can live anywhere and obviously turn out fine, but the limiting factor is definitely the family. Friends can have a greater influence in certain situations, but still...the family is the most important factor at to how a person turns out because they are there first and can ultimately influence who the friends can be. In summary, friends can have a greater influence, but family can have a more important influence. It might seem contradictory, but it isn't.
  • That brings me to the point that some people refer to eccentricities in certain LDS people and say it is because they are a Utah Mormon. A good example of this was Julie from the MTV show The Real World. She Was not from Utah, but many non-Utahns at BYU where I was at the time assumed she was due to her obvious over-sheltered past. People make this assumption, stereotypify it as a Utah complex and propagate the fallacy. Other examples include anything weird that someone does at BYU (because you are obviously Mormon, but no one can look at you and know where you are from, unless you are Canadian because they always have a Canadian flag on their backpack!). It is immediately incorrectly assumed they are from Utah, probably Provo and that is the source of their problem.
  • The quintessential example of this is socks with sandals. Although there are people in Utah that do this, sorry dad, it is definitely not a Utah thing. Living in the Pacific Northwest I get the occasional email, "You know you are from the PNW if you..." and in that is says, "wear socks with your sandals." So...case closed.
  • Basically I think these incorrect stereotypes stem from Utah's obvious higher concentration of LDS people. Weird LDS things are not due to being a Utah Mormon...it is just sometimes due to being a Mormon in general and you notice it easier in Utah because of the greater density.
In closing I give anyone the following challenge: post a "Utah Mormon Eccentricity" and see if I can't shoot it down. Also, feel free to contradict me :)


Cody said...

Here's my support/rebuttal/addition. I will correlate my answers with your bullets. (Speaking of bullets, I found a new rifled slug for my shotgun by Hornady that is sick!)
-I agree, and add that the majority of BYU students are from out of state, so the perception of Utah Mormons from one at BYU is not a realistic cross section of Utahns.
-I have to slightly disagree with you on this one. There have been studies that show Utahns do use more anti-depressants than the national average, in fact they are #1, they have also shown that Utah is #1 with narcotic prescriptions per capita. (http://rickross.com/reference/mormon/mormon64.html) But the difference is that it is not correlated to the LDS religion or culture. How else would you explain that the other two states up there with Utah are Oregon and Maine? Not too many members in Maine. Check this article out: http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,640196840,00.html
I know, none of these are peer reviewd journals, but they mention some studies, and I wish they had links to them. But it doesn't support the fallacy that the church is the cause of the increased # of meds like so many would like to insinuate. It is not from a 'guilty conscience' that critics try to say the church forces on its members.
-I agree and would add my theory that the keeping up with the Joneses is especially prevalent in Utah. This is because people who pursue higher education (masters, JD, MD, DDS, PhD, etc.) that move back to Utah want to live at the same level as their peers in other regions of the country so they go and get the same houses, cars, toys, etc. to be like their peers with equal training and education. The problem is that the income in Utah is not on par with the rest of the country, so they go into debt far more than they should leading to the highest bankruptcy rate in the nation. But, as the study you linked said, it has no correlation to the Mormon church or culture. If anything, mormons keep those statistics lower than they could be.
-I think both have their challenges and benefits and in the end, it's the family that sets the base for the first 12 years, and then the ward, peers and friends that support through the teen years. Good wards, friends and peers can be found anywhere in the country, except Bellevue maybe :)
-I agree
-I agree, like I stated above, studies have shown that for the first 12 years of life, the most influential group on an individual is the family, after that the family loses influence and during the teen years the friends have the greatest influence. But, with a solid foundation from the family during the childhood years, the friends that one chooses will be more in line with those values and less likely to lead them astray.
-I believe this is so often distorted is because we mormons love being unique and different and would like to think that we have the copyright or trademark on certain eccentricities. And then with the current bandwagon in Utah to bag on mormons, they tend to look for anything odd and put a mormon tag next to it. Sorry guys, like Carson said, this doesn't work that way.
-the socks with sandles is even evident out here in Maryland by many non-mormons. It's just people in general that aren't stylish and up with the fashions. Not just a mormon thing.
-yup, agreed
My addition would be that I am seriously annoyed with a trend I have noticed especially in the Salt Lake Valley emerging in the last several years. It has become cool to bag on mormons and the mormon culture (although I don't think the "mormon movies" have helped this out any, even though I find most of them funny). I hate it because even many members of the church are participating in these activities, thus making it harder and more confusing for other members of the church that are the recipients of the teasings and mocking. And it is detrimental to those investigating the church too who come across it. Just another one of my pet peeves in life. Ok, I'll end for now.

Carson Calderwood said...

Good post Cody. Thanks for correcting me on the medication issue (see I can have a change of view) even though the initial claim was false and for posting those links. The prof that I was referring to was actually Dr. Judd in the DesNews article. Not the Bio Dr. Judd (ah, hah, hahzzzzzz).

The two things that jumped out at me from the article were:

"Utah's LDS population also might more readily turn to the medical profession for help because the church advises members not to use alcohol and tobacco. Research indicates Latter-day Saints in Utah and elsewhere are less likely to self-medicate..."


"Perhaps one of the reasons the residents of Utah lead the nation in the use of antidepressants is that since they are generally more educated and aware of the symptoms and treatments of depression, they are more likely than the residents of other states to seek medical treatment."

I think the culture bagging starts against Utah, then progresses to Utah Mormons then ends up against Mormons in general. Doesn't look like a good trend to follow.

Chapman Family said...

I think that there are always exceptions to the rule and that goes both ways. Of course you can turn out just fine growing up in Utah, I think you are a pretty good example of that. Just the same, you can turn out a little strange growing up anywhwhere else. That being said, our reasons, so far, for not living in utah are based on different issues than posted here. Job being the biggest of those. Diversity being a close second. Your right, just going to BYU is definately not Utah. And yes, BYU does have diversity in race as do most Universities. But I am not just talking about race, more culture I guess. Having the majority of the population at BYU being LDS did lend to a very similar culture. While at the U of U, for that one quarter I was there, I encountered much more cultural diversity. And I think that most Universities have a greater sampling of culture than there surrounding cities. But, for me, I prefer even more. I think that the lack of diversity in Utah has less to do with the concentration of LDS people and more to do with the size if cities. I just happen to LOVE being near a large city with many different cultures, religions, races, etc... Utah does have these things but on a much smaller scale than I prefer. Like I said, there are always exceptions to the rule. Anyway, those are just my reasons. I can see why you would feel very strongly about this issue because most of the time people do stereotype all Utah Mormons. I think your last point sums it up pretty well.

Now, you know I can't stop without mentioning my rebuttle, and again, maybe I am the exception to the rule. But, like you said, your family is the most important influence and if you teach your children the importance of eternal marriage, the temple, and missionary work etc... there should be no reason why they shouldn't sereously date a non member. Of course if you were worried that they were struggling in their testimony and having other issues, this might be different. Personally, I would feel like the biggest hypocrite if I told my children to only date members, even if I wasn't a convert. But that's a whole other issue.

Thanks for the post Carson, it is nice to hear a less defensive opinion about this, one that is more thought out and grounded.

Carson Calderwood said...

Thanks Jodee. I guess I should add an addendum.

You are Marisa are great examples of what good things that can come out of LDS kids dating Non-LDS kids seriously. As she and I have discussed your and her situations we are ok with our kids seriously dating non LDS kids. Religion is not the number one issue for us in approving who our children date, but quality of the person is. I would much rather have our boys date a good non-LDS girl than the opposite case.

We did though, rank LDS density pretty high on our "where to live" algorithm when considering our kids' future. Not because we want all their friends and dates to be LDS, but because we wanted them to have some good options. One of Trey's three best friends is not LDS and he is probably my favorite. It all comes down to trying to put the odds in our favor.

On the other side of the coin we can't deny two things:
1-we strongly desire, pray for and hope that our kids marry a worthy LDS person in the temple
2-speaking strictly of numbers we feel it is more likely that a person can remain worthy to marry in the temple if they date all LDS youth as apposed to all non-LDS youth.

If given the choice of...

A:having one of our kids date only LDS youth and marry one in the temple...


B:find a non-LDS person who sees the good in the gospel and gains a testimony of their own that takes them to the temple with our son...

I would much rather experience option B!

Chapman Family said...

I think I would choose option B as well.

Collette said...

I read this post a week or so ago and have wanted to reply, but knowing that I am not so articulate, I have not yet. Anyway, most Mormons that I have run into who were raised here think that there is no such thing as a "Utah Mormon." Really, who would want to put a label with negative connotations like that on themselves? Not many I would guess. As you already know, I was NOT raised here, but visited every summer of my life until I moved here when I was 21. I believe in the idea of a "Utah Mormon." I also believe that it is regional. I think that in some towns it is way stronger and often newer developments have it (and everyone seems to be so "the same" as each other anyway). The thing about this stereotype is that it reflects the same thing that all stereotypes do. There has to be truth in it or the whole idea wouldn't exist. I have never lived in Utah county and probably have actually only been there a dozen times. My experiences relate more to people I have met and known in Weber, Davis, Cache, and Salt Lake counties. This post was not very fluid and probably not totally conveying my thoughts right and I actually have more opinions on it, but like I said, I'm not too articulate, so I'll just leave it like this.

Carson Calderwood said...

Well stated Collette, I think you articulate better than you think you do. I agree about the stereotypes issue, there usually is a base, but it is bad to apply them to the whole. For example, more crime is committed by 20 something AA males, but you would be very out of line to say that any AA male you meet is a criminal.

When discussing Utah Mormons I think that most of what people tag as a Utah Mormon thing (usually negative like you said) is more correctly stated as a Mormon thing in general. I wouldn't go so far as to say there isn't a single Utah Mormon idiosyncrasy out there. Like you said, they are probably regional and not specific to the state in general and mutually exclusive from SE Idaho Mormons for example.

I had one anonymous guy at church say that the phrase "Oh, my heck" is a Utah-ism. I stand by my previous statements on this as well. Mormon's outside of Utah say this also, but will agree that you are probably more likely to say this living in Utah than outside because of the greater LDS influence that you receive there.

As with most intellectual pursuits or philosophical debates I usually tend to be in the middle somewhere. I don't find myself at or near one end of the logical extremes of the spectrum.

Chuck Gates said...

Loved this post.

First, full disclosure on why I feel qualified to discuss this issue.

I was born in Utah, but raised in California since I was 4 years old. All of my relatives were in Utah... Heck (a good "Utah Mormon" word), we visited so often that my DENTIST was in Utah.

I served my mission in northern Utah (Yes, you can laugh). Northern UT (Davis County, Ogden, Brigham City, Logan) is a good indicator-area that does not involve the areas of Provo or SLC which throw off any sort of Utah Mormon discussion.

I admit, I have used the term Utah Mormon frequently, but I feel that it is mostly a joke that I don't use as a negative, but to indicate general trends (see below). That being said, all of the following is said with tongue planted in cheek because I know that it is a gross over-generalization. Plus, not all Utah residents who are members of the LDS church are 'Utah Mormons.' You have to 'earn' the title.

I have used the term Jack Mormon in a negative way though, because it has a more universally accepted connotation of a baptized member of record who does not act like an active member of the LDS church.

They exist. There is a subculture of mormonism in Utah that creates things that only arise from the combination of the two. These are things that you don't see in non-LDS Utahns or non-Utahn LDS members. Plus, they are definitely not things that come from doctrine of TCofJesusChristofLDS.

I will give a few examples.

(1) Utah Mormons need to learn that "moisture" is not a weather-related term. It is rain or snow! In your prayers, be grateful for the rain or snow. Why? Because nobody goes outside and says, "It's moisturing out here." The missionaries in Utah all laugh at you for this one because NOBODY in the entire civilized world does this unless they are from Utah or were raised by Utah Mormons.

(2)Confusing caffeine with coffee in the word of wisdom. Why is this so hard to get? The Church has never prohibited drinks based on caffeine content! That means, if you want to drink Coke, fine... but Decaffeinated coffee is out! True story: My companion and I walked into Denny's, guy calls us over to talk and tells us he just finished his shift as a temple worker. Then, unprovoked because neither I nor my companion had noticed, he says, "Oh, don't worry about this here... it's decaffeinated coffee." I nearly passed out. I personally choose not to drink caffeinated drinks, but I don't think it is a sin to do so. But Decaf coffee is dfinitely against the WofW.

(3)What part of "attend your meetings" means that anything other than the first 20 minutes of Sacrament Meeting is bonus time that is completely optional? Outside of Utah, recommend-holding members feel that "attend your meetings" indicates the 3-hour block as a minimum and maybe Stake Priesthood (and even General PH) in addition. Only in UT, do I see totally active members who weekly choose to blow off Sunday School because the Jazz are on and my house is only three doors down. [Note: all teenagers are exempted from the gross generalizations I just gave.] Sure lots of Utah members of the LDS church do not do this, but that just shows they are not 'Utah Mormons.'

- I totally agree that Provo should not be used to define Utah in stereotypes. That is like saying that the Northern VA suburbs of Washington, DC is Virginia. Provo is a melting pot of people from all over that have come to that location for a specific purpose and created an entirely separate culture outside of what may have existed prior.

I had a strange realization of this. I did not go to BYU for any schooling. But, because all of my extended family was in Utah and I served a mission there I thought I understood Utah culture (incl Utah Mormons). Then I became and EFY Counselor for a summer. Wow! That was a fun, but different experience that showed that Provo is its own little enclave of culture (and that Rexburg is Provo on a mixture of Steroids and Prozac).

I don't know if this is true, but I thought I read a somewhat scientific study somewhere that said that Utah did have more than the average anti-depressive prescriptions (Cody seems to be backing this up with actual proof). But it doesn't matter how much is prescribed.

See Carson, you are approaching this from an empirical science viewpoint (you silly biologist and dentist, you). As a burgeoning blogger on social issues, you need to see it as a good social scientist.

The fact that there are more drugs proscribed does not mean that Mormon women suffer more depression as a result of their Utah Mormon woman status.

It could mean that Utahns are more aware of their feelings and have more faith in psychology than the rest of the US and, thus, they go to the shrink more often and get prescriptions. Psychs prescribe anti-Ds for almost anything! Maybe, LDS members have more faith in mind medicine than the rest of the US (there is a big distrust of psychology for some reason that I don't believe).

Or maybe, the Utah association of mental health practitioners recently received tons of enlightening training on the benefits of anti-Ds.

Or maybe, the air that passes over Nevada gets polluted with toxins that cause more symptomology of depression that is actually being misdiagnosed in large amounts.

Who knows? As any good social scientist knows, there is much more to cultural facts than can usually be attributed to one single source. You hard science people are used to saying mix Na with Cl and you get NaCl. Social scientists say, but are Na and Cl really compatible? Who else have they dated? What does plutonium think? And, most importantly, how does this affect me?

All I care about is that my wife, mother, and sisters are happy in whatever roles they choose as LDS women.

You have convinced me that Mormons are not the cause of Utah's high bankruptcy (a phenomenon of which I was not aware). But, this needs a social science analysis.

The fact that UT ranks high in bankruptcy does not necessarily indicate that Utahns are poor money managers or squelch on their obligations.

Maybe they all just happen to be well educated on the issues of when it is appropriate to file bankruptcy. Maybe BYU, UofU, Utah St. and Weber all got together and sent off professors to become experts in bankruptcy law and came back and taught really interesting classes that everybody attended and now they are all super-aware of their rights.

Our society seems to cast judgment on those who file as such, but maybe Utahns are slower to be judgmental (let's not address that), and thus, people are more inclined to exercise their legal rights to file as such.

Maybe tons of Alabamans, Virginians, and Californians SHOULD be filing for bankruptcy. Who knows? I don't care because I am not loaning money to a broad segment of Utah's population. If I do choose to loan money to somebody from UT, I will research them individually and not their neighbors.

This is a tough one. I see your point about how your experiences strengthened your testimony.

I see there being 3 types of kids. (1) The ones that are mature enough to decide for themselves and would do well in or out of UT (like you Carson - and I would like to think me too). (2) Those who will have never gained a testimony to begin with and would never become active in UT or outside of UT. And, (3) those who are lukewarm and need something to hold on to or follow.

The last kids are the ones who are more likely to have followed your LDS friends who broke their covenants. They would have rationalized that "other Mormons are doing it, its okay." The only reason that these kids might do better outside of UT is because I have found that outside of UT, the LDS members who attend church regularly are die hards.

I think you can get away with being a lukewarm member of the church in Utah as an adult and as a teen. It is much more difficult to be a lukewarm adult member outside of UT because it just doesn't work. That is why it is also much more difficult for the less active to come back outside of Utah. (That's a whole other question I learned on my mission that gives UT a big plus mark in the sky.) If I tried to do something wrong as a teen, my non-member friends would not allow it. They demanded that I was either Mormon (and perfect in their eyes) or the complete opposite. They did not allow any middle ground. Outside of Utah, baptised members of the church who are less or totally inactive, don't call themselves Mormon. They don't let people know it. In Utah, that is not the case. They use their baptized status as a reason that you should leave them alone because they are already members.

I think you made a wise choice. I was lucky to be raised in an area with lots of members. There were about 75 LDS kids at my high school - enough so that I was able to decide to only date LDS girls and still not be unable to find anybody to date.

This is hard for me now though because I have chosen to live on the East Coast where the church is not as widespread. Imagine Brian Tait's limited options of dating only LDS girls. (Although he did luck out because Esther is one heck of a choice to have been his only choice in his ward.) Anyway, Ashley and I will most likely find this a difficult part of our decision making as we choose where to raise our kids. Which leads me to...

I agree that it all comes down to the family. I was blessed with great parents who did all they could to give me the ability to make good choices. When I chose to only date LDS girls, they did all they could to get me to any Stake Dance in the surrounding 4 counties that I wanted to attend.

As parents on the east coast, I will have to be more dedicated in helping provide opportunities for my kids to have good friends who understand their values.

Wow, this has been too long. Probably should have been a responding post on my own blog. Loved the discussion here.

I am not sure if I have challenged you to put down my stereotypings, but feel free to dispute. I know you will not be able to find any evidence to contradict the moisture one. :-)

Chuck Gates said...

Dang it! Typos... Undeveloped arguments... I hate that I cannot edit my post. (Just know that I didn't mean to intone that large portions of Utah LDS members drink decaf coffee.)

On top of that, my wife just said, "Your long winded in person and in print!"

BTW, I wear socks with my soccer sandals when I go to play Bball, soccer, or football because I don't want to wear my cleats or Bball shoes off of the court/field.

Carson Calderwood said...

Great comments Chuck!

Marisa was just pointing out a couple of days ago how saying “moisture” in a prayer is a Utah Mormon term. I might have to concede that point to you two, especially after you clarify that it is only stated by those in Utah, originally from Utah or raised by parents from one of the two previous points.

After thinking that over I may have to totally revamp my theory on this subject. As with evolution (sorry for the Bio science analogy) a gene present in one population that has an advantage over other genes will quickly spread through neighboring populations until it becomes ubiquitous. For example, it is easier to say the trite phrase “thank you for the moisture” when your parents do, than it would be to think up an articulate and meaningful phrase everytime it rains in the desert…Disclaimer 1…I do NOT =) say this phrase. Since the majority of members have been from Utah (until the last couple of decades) the probability of these new “genes” arising in Utah is great. Then they spread throughout the rest of the church and they will even cross language and cultural barriers as I saw happen in Argentina. At one moment in time cheesy cultural “gene” A will mostly be present in Utah. Come back 1 or 2 generations later and it will be universal within the United States.

There is another factor that will come into play to inhibit the rapid succession of transmittal from one local to another. This is the greater influence of non-LDS culture that one will get outside of Utah. For example, the “Democrats are evil” phenomenon. Living outside of Utah in an area that is not extremely red will allow you to see that there are some people who openly affiliate with the Democratic party, but do not push party points like abortion..Disclaimer 2…I do NOT affiliate with being a Rep or Dem. Therefore, outside of Utah there is a reality check that you might not get as easily inside of Utah. I still stand by the original statement though that you will find any Utah Mormon item outside of Utah and not everyone inside of Utah will display that characteristic.

OK, that was also longer than I expected…and I also wear socks with sandals to and from the car at some sport activities like you said, but to make sure that I don’t fit the negative stereotype I purchased the over the foot type that soccer players wear to avoid the ugly flip flop tug through the toes…yuk!

Chuck Gates said...

I agree with you tat the term Utah Mormon is often a misnomer. Sometimes, the 'best' example of the stereotypes assigned to 'Utah Mormons' are found in Idaho, Arizona, or California. Usually that is because they have some strong relation to Utah. In fact, I was taken aback when somebody in California asked me where my accent was from. They said I sounded like I was from Utah. When I asked them to clarify, it was not my actual accent of pronunciation but my use of certain words. They were words I realized I learned from my mother.

By the way, why are they called soccer sandals? They work for any sport that wears specialized shoes that you don't want to wear off of that field/court. But it is totally improper to wear socks with sandals that floss between the toes or those that velcro around the ankle (ie. Tevas). That was only allowed in the 90s in Utah and the PNW. Somebody who does so now is not considered cool grunge; they are just a sicko. :-D

Hunsaker5 said...

Carson, how were you able to find an area with a high density of mormons living there? Since Chris and I will be living outside of Utah for the rest of our lives I would love to find an area like this for my kids.

Carson Calderwood said...

The Seattle area has an unusually high concentration, then this area of Seattle is even higher. We looked at the different areas when visiting Marisa's family for holidays and summers during the school years and fell in love with this place the first time we saw it.

Collette said...

The other "discussion" on your regular blog made me want to add one more comment here (and keep all the others to myself). My parents were both born and raised in Utah. They lived outside of Utah for 30+ years. My dad was a professor. I was constantly corrected on my speech and grammatical errors. (A bad habit I now have of doing to others in my family.) When we would come out each summer to visit, my mom's language skills would significantly lower and suddenly she seemed to forget the "g" at the end of all of her "ing" words. We went shoppin, dancin, fishin, etc. So annoying! Well, not that my parents live in Utah again, guess what. It the 3 short years they have been here, I find myself embarrassed by how they speak. It the worst from my dad because he taught my how to use my words correctly and now I have to correct him. "We was at the store..." Ahhhh! And my mom doesn't have a one month burst of bad English, she now is constantly, "I says..." I am sure Iowans generally have a thing. I don't know what it is because I was an insider, not an outsider. So, I am not trying to pick on Utahns, just merely supporting my feeling that there is no myth. I just thought of an Iowan thing, I guess. I have heard people say we pronounce our "e's" differently and words like "catch" are "ketch." Oh, and Iowans like sweatshirts a lot.

AJ said...

Late to the party I know but I just rediscovered this site. The only thing I hear in Utah that I don't like is when people refer to anything outside of Utah as "the mission field."