“That is Like So Hella Rad, Brah”

I’ll take words you will never hear together for eight hundred, please.

If that title didn’t confuse you, nothing will. If you ask any native Californian, there is an impending debate about which is better: Northern California or Southern California.  Northern California has San Francisco, the academic geniuses of Silicon Valley and the state capital. Southern California is home to Hollywood, Disneyland and miles upon miles of sandy, almost always sunny beaches. The question remains: Nor Cal or So Cal?

Originally from sunny San Diego, I think it’s pretty clear what my answer would be; however, while still at school here in the northern end of this glorious state, I think I will keep my humble opinion to myself.

                           
Southern California Kellie                                                        Northern California Kellie

What I am most interested in concerning this constant debate is the differences in speech. For example, I had never even heard the word “hella” before coming to Chico for college. Now, it’s rare if, for one day, I don’t hear someone say “That’s hella cool!” or “I’m hella hungry.”

In Southern California, we say things like “rad” and “stoked.” Those aren’t just cheesy words used by surfers and reality show jocks to further instill the So Cal stereotype into the minds of others, it’s really how many of us speak.

Another point of notable difference is the use of the article “the” in conjunction with freeway names. For example, in Southern California, interstate five is “the five.” While, in Northern California, it’s just “I-5.” I found these to be interesting factors of separation for the mid-state divide.

If you couldn’t already tell which end of the state someone is from, listen to them talk. The moment the first “hella” or “gnarly” is spoken the mystery will be solved.

So… is there a clear winner and loser? The world may never know.
Until then, stay classy, California.

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