Natives might resent ‘the locals’ reference

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, July 13, 2011

To the Editor:
As one whose family has resided in Polk County for several generations, I am commenting on Ms. Burdett’s use of a particular sentence in her article entitled: “Muddy lake: nature pays.”
This is the sentence: “The locals have stopped fussing about the clear-cutting because it no longer looks ugly, but the pollution will go on for years to come.”
First, I am a native, not a local.
Second, how can she possibly know why “the locals have stopped fussing?”
Has she interviewed them? Since she said “the locals,” not some locals, it seems that in order to make that definitive statement she would have spoken to all of “the locals.”
Another question is how could she possibly know they’ve “stopped fussing about the clearcutting because it no longer looks ugly?” Maybe there are as many reasons for no longer fussing as there are “locals.”
As a native North Carolinian and a long-time resident of Polk County, I ask the following favors of those who refer to us in the Tryon Daily Bulletin (and at other events), whose families have lived here for several generations:
Understand that we are not all of one mind and that when using generalities like “the locals” some of us natives might take offense to being lumped with everyone else who is a native.
It’s unfortunate that the writer put this sentence in an otherwise excellent article. Some people seem unaware that our choice of words often reveals our true meanings/feelings.
–– Neb Conner, Tryon

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