At present I am, besides others, reading mysteries by Erle Stanley Gardner. In his foreword to “The Case of the Terrified Typist” he describes the typical Texan – admittedly, to my mind, using some clichés but still very true – in the following words:

Texans don’t do things the way other people do. If a Texan likes you, he is for you a hundred percent. If he doesn’t like you, he may or may not be polite, but his formal politeness will be as frigid as a blizzard wind in the Texas Panhandle. Texas is a big, raw, blustering state with a highly developed sense of the dramatic, a spirit of the Old West still rampant, and is peopled by citizens who think only in terms of the superlative. This causes many people to doubt the sincerity of the Texan. The trouble is, some of these critics simply don’t understand the Texan language and the Texan thought. When a Texan uses superlatives, he is completely sincere. He thinks in superlatives. He expresses himself in superlatives.

Erle Stanley Gardner, “The Case of the Terrified Typist“, in Seven Complete Novels (New York, 1979), p. 149 f.

The Case of the Terrified Typist” was originally published in 1956.


6 responses to “Texans

  1. I remember a consulting job I had a couple of decades ago. We had a worldwide clientele, and the owner of the company told me about four cultures that I had to be wary of:

    Italians – “They are like no other.”
    New Yorkers – “There really is a New York state of mind.”
    Texans – It’s not Texas, it’s “The Great Nation of Texas.”
    Californians – “You never know what to expect.”

    • Hi Russel,
      Thanks for the quotes. 🙂 I like that about Californians a lot. Btw, isn’t Texas a state of mind, too? Like the Bavarians in Germany? A former Bavarian Prime Minister once made that comparison, viz. that the Bavarians are the Texans of germany – or vice versa.
      Take care, and have a good one,

  2. There’s nothing wrong with superlatives….
    or, have I been in Texas for WAY too long?

    • Hi Alex,
      of course there’s nothing wrong with superlatives. Only problem for Texans: ever since Alaska gained statehood, Texas is no longer the biggest state in the US. 😉
      Best regards from Karnes City,

  3. Sounds good! Comes on my list.
    Norfolk people are different too. They never act as you’d expect. You’ll soon find out. 🙂
    Love to you and Mary from good old Bonn

    • Hallo Dina,
      danke für Deinen Kommentar. Und mit “comes on my list”, meintest Du da das Buch oder das Zitat?
      Auf die Leute in Norfolk freuen wir uns schon, ebenso wie auf die in anderen Gegenden Englands und Schottlands.
      Liebe Grüße, auch von Mary, nach “good (c)old Germany”,

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