We are taught that the concept of a “nation” began to arise in Europe during the Renaissance as, with increased travel and communication, peoples of neighboring lands started to recognize that they shared a common history and language. If you could speak easily with the people in the next village, and you shared the same assumptions and worldview, you would gradually conclude that you belonged to the same nation.

With that in mind, let’s look at this handy “translation” guide prepared for unemployed Californians who are migrating to Texas in search of opportunity and a better life. The guide is useful, of course, in underscoring the extent to which the residents of these two sovereign states do not share the same assumptions and worldview:


Winston Churchill once said that Britain and America were two nations that were “divided by a common language.” Something similar could be said today of Texas and California, two states that share a language but not a common vision of life.

If instead of reading across, you read straight down the Californian list, you come away with a sense of life being clothed in language designed to smooth out, or more accurately cover over, unpleasant facts that if openly expressed, might bring accusations of insensitivity down upon their expresser. Life in California, based on this list, feels like a high-class social event whose participants are ever at pains to avoid any direct references to the raw facts of life.

The Texans, based on their list, seem to revel in pointing out the raw facts of life. The rawer the better, and no shirking or evading. While language in California seems to serve a decorative purpose, language in Texas is for communicating.

If this guide is any guide, if you want to even be able to have an honest conversation about anything, you’ll have to move to Texas.








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