They were talking about the weather on a national channel the other day, and the meteorologist said several times that a certain system would be moving “into the Carolinas .” Don’t you get tired of just being lumped together, as though North Carolina and South Carolina didn’t have individual personalities, with distinctive topography, and climates? Well, to some extent—we tend to put different mixtures of ingredients together for our barbecue sauces, and palmetto trees don’t grow in the wild in the Tar Heel State except in a small area near the border.
North and South Dakota get the same treatment—“the Dakotas ”—with no distinction between the lands of Pierre and Bismarck . I think there might be an element of snobbishness at play as well. Virginia , which styles itself “the Mother of Presidents,” is never clumped together with West Virginia . You don’t hear weathermen say “the Virginias .” Why is that?
If we’re going to be “the Carolinas ,” why don’t we just drop the “North” and the “South” and reunite as just “ Carolina ?” That’s how we started out. We could squabble over where the capital of Carolina would be later. Carolina would be a pretty big deal—more than 10 million people, a passel of representatives in congress, and we’d be the biggest Southern state, if you didn’t count Texas . It’s food for thought.