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deni's avatar

How should I phrase this...(Details)

Asked by deni (23052points) December 13th, 2011

I have a map of the United States in my living room. Whenever someone comes over, I give them a push pin and tell them to put it where they’re from. People never understand, and everyone asks the same question. “Where I’m from? Where I was born? Where I grew up? Or where I live now?”....I say “Where you tell people you’re from….so if you were born in Pennsylvania and moved when you were a month old and lived in California til you were 20, you probably consider yourself more from CA than PA.” It’s quite simple, but I want to write on the map something like “Mark your roots” or “Where ya from?” and then have a tray of push pins out so that I don’t have to explain it every time. Or, when we have a party, I don’t have to go out of my way to hand every single person a push pin and explain why I like doing this. (I like it because I am a geography nerd and any excuse to have multiple maps, I’ll take. Also it’s a cool idea.) Is there another way to phrase it that might be more clear? Since I’m writing it permanently on the map, I figured I’d ask yall to help me come up with the best phrasing so I don’t have to plaster over it. Thanks :)

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20 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

Thrust this bramble into mine example of cartography to dictate the geographical locale from whence ye came!

HungryGuy's avatar

Ask, “Where did you grow up?” instead of “Where were you born?” or “Where are you from?”

Sunny2's avatar

I always ask people I’ve just met and am conversing with, “Where did you grow up?” I get a kind of sense of their origins if I’m familiar with the area and I learn about it from follow up questions if I don’t. I think early climate experiences affect a lot of personal characteristics. Small towns versus big cities do too. If I get to know them better, I find out if my initial ideas are true or not.

linguaphile's avatar

“Where is home to you?”

Why not put hic sunt dracones somewhere on the map and befuddle them even more :D

JilltheTooth's avatar

@linguaphile : I grew up in NJ. It is said that the dracones are there. With big hair.

I agree with “Where did you grow up” or “Where do you call home” unless you want confusion. I grew up in the Garden State, I consider Seattle the home of my heart but I’ve been in CT for a while now and probably will stay here. I’d need three pins.

JLeslie's avatar

I think “Where did you grow up” is going to get you the answer you want, even though some people have trouble with that. Where are you from, is way too general. “What do you call home,” also problematic, because home for me is not necessarily where I grew up, I would not identify where I grew up as home.

JLeslie's avatar

Most maps like that mark where the person lives currently while they are visiting. Not that it matters, you can do it however you want of course.

fundevogel's avatar

“pin your hometown” ought to clear up some confusion. People are from all over, but most instinctively know which is their hometown.

marinelife's avatar

Where do you consider home?

CWOTUS's avatar

My mother used to do this for her kids with push pins and yarn. She started us all out where we were born (in Massachusetts), and then use a new push pin and a new length of yarn to represent all of our individual “permanent” moves. Before long, the map looked like a huge potholder, but it was pretty cool to trace.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’d go with what @CWOTUS wrote. Embroidery yarn comes in a multitude of colors and is relatively thin.

YoBob's avatar

What a great idea!

I would go with something like “Where is your home town?”

Unfortunately, for some this is a more difficult question that one would imagine. Consider, for example, “military brats” that moved every couple of years throughout their childhood. I would also have a note card with the title “What is your home town?” sitting next to the push pin bowl with an explanation that makes clear that it is the town you consider the most important in your upbringing.

linguaphile's avatar

What about, “Where is/was your favorite place to live?”

@JilltheTooth That’s a good one! :D

saint's avatar

I wouldn’t spend too much on the explanation. I would simply say “Just do your best”. Eventually your map will be interesting anyway.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

This would be an easy concept for someone who was born, raised and lived their whole lives in the same place, as did their father before them, and his father before him. I don’t have a particular place to call my home base. My family started mobilizing in the early 1970’s when the economy became less dependent on the steel industry and it was possible to find jobs elsewhere. I haven’t been back to the Chicago area for 30 years and none of my family still live there. We are in Florida, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, and Utah.

With this in mind, where would I put my push pin?

blueiiznh's avatar

“Where are you from” is a relative term.
When I am on busines and a preson asks me, “Where are you from?”, I tell them where I live currently.
“Where are you originally from ?”, would get an answer more or a persons roots and would instill a request for a person to think about their roots as opposed to current or place of birth..
“Where were you born” is just that. Like a question on a form wanting to know the town you were born.

I go with “Where are you originally from ”

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I like that, @blueiiznh . That would definitely help me know where to put that pin.

deni's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Well I think your case is uncommon, but I think if someone told me that, I’d say just to mark where you were born then, or where your favorite place you lived was. It’s really just a judgement call I suppose.

I like @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard ‘s the best so far. But I think I’ll go with @fundevogel just because it’s so simple and gets to the point. And “pin your hometown” would make it easier for folks like you, @Skaggfacemutt dont ya think?

JLeslie's avatar

I like “Pin Your Hometown” too.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I lived in three different towns during my childhood, so “where are you originally from” would be better. Then I could pin the general area and not a specific town.

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