Charleston has been named the most courteous city several times. New analysis suggests those good manners are used throughout South Carolina, the most courteous state.
If, indeed, we pepper our language with “please” and “thank you” more than other states, perhaps that explains why we’re the third-slowest-speaking state. Folks in Mississippi and Alabama speak even more slowly. In Oregon, Minnesota and Massachusetts, they talk fastest.
Marchex, an analytics firm that conducted the studies, does note that the fastest-talking are not necessarily the wordiest. That distinction goes to New York, followed by California and New Jersey. South Carolina is chatty, too, but can’t keep up with those.
The least wordy? Oklahoma, Kansas and Wisconsin.
We also are in the middle of the pack when measured for profanity. Somewhere between Washington and Massachusetts, where they are comparatively swear-free, and Ohio and Maryland, where they turn the telephone lines blue.
The Atlantic’s online site reported on these studies recently and surmised that talking slowly is sometimes equated with being inferior intellectually. But perhaps we take our time speaking because South Carolina isn’t as impatient as people in Kentucky, Ohio and North Carolina, who top that list.
So here’s advice for the presidential candidates as they troll for votes in the Palmetto State. Speak slowly, not because we’re stupid but because we don’t fill our speech with the profanity other states do.
And by all means, say “please” and “thank you.”