East is back (was: /or/ distinctions: TOUR)

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Sat Apr 15 15:10:09 UTC 2000

When I visit my family in Minnesota, I speak of Ohio as "out East," but I
never use that term here in Ohio.  It may be that to mid-country people,
speaking from mid-country, both coasts are "out."  But when I travel from
here, I go "East" or "to the East Coast," but never either "out" or "back"
East.  And even though Ohio isn't really "South," when I go to Minnesota I
go "up North."  We Midlanders don't know how to orient ourselves!

At 11:19 PM 4/14/00 -0400, you wrote:
>On Fri, 14 Apr 2000, Peter A. McGraw wrote:
>> To a westerner, "out east" sounds really bizarre.  Except for "Down East,"
>> which I've always understood as a specific region and its culturee rather
>> than a direction, the only way to describe any place east of the
>> Mississippi (roughly) is "BACK east" (as opposed to "out here").
>To me, 'back east' would imply that one has been there at some point?
>I could be alone in my little solitary isogloss, however. I think my use
>of 'out east' is modeled on 'out west' and I never really heard people
>refer to the east all that much, so I probably made up my own phrase.
>--- Steve K.

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