22 fascinating maps that show how Americans speak English differently across the US

by blondie 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • blondie


    Everyone knows Americans don't agree on pronunciations.

    That's great, because regional accents and dialects are a major part of why American English is so interesting.

    Josh Katz, a former Ph.D. student of statistics at North Carolina State University, published a group of awesome visualizations of Professor Bert Vaux and Scott Golder's linguistic survey, which looked at differences in American dialects (via detsl on /r/Linguistics).

    His results were first published on The Abstract, the NC State University research blog. The complete set of Katz's maps, updated with the results from more than 350,000 new survey responses, are compiled in the new book "Speaking American," publishing October 25 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

    Katz gave Business Insider permission to publish some of the coolest maps from his collection.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Very interesting, Blondie.

    I thought all Americans called sports shoes 'sneakers', I didn't realise it was just the north-east and Florida.

  • zombie dub
    zombie dub

    Are they still Tennis shoes if you are using them for a sport other than Tennis?

  • blondie

    Some do use that term, some differentiate saying running shoes, basketball shoes, exercise shoes.

    In my area the word is pop for drinks like coke, pepsi, other areas say soda, and some soda pop. I have seen some say coke for all drinks in that category.

    I thought it would be educational and fun to find out that everyone in the US does not use the same terms.

    In this area the term "sneakers" is used a lot.

  • slimboyfat

    Very interesting! I'm very interested in this. It's a shame Leolaia isn't around to discuss it.

    I find it a little difficult to distinguish because I'm colour blind.

    But is there a particularly striking concentration of soda(?) in Missouri on map 12.

    And you get rotaries instead of roundabouts, but only in Maine?

  • slimboyfat

    Ha, and I like how Florida calls New York "the city" on map 21. I guess I learned something about America from Seinfeld after all...

  • blondie

    The thing to remember is the US is a large country made up of 50 states, formed and settled by people from many countries. Also, people in the US tend to adopt words from other countries to explain new or similar ideas.

    There are areas where I find the English hard to grasp at first just like I found growing up in Germany with some areas

    Unless you have come here and traveled in many areas, using tv, movies, etc., or the people who live in your country from the US, is a very limited group.

  • slimboyfat

    Darf Ich fragen, wo in Deutschland? Ich kann nur ein bisserl Wienerisch. Ich glaube es ist etwas wie Bayerisch.

  • James Mixon
    James Mixon

    I still have my southern accent, moved to California in 1959 at age 12 years old. Around the mid 90's on my job a Vietnamese friend ask me where was I born, what country? I laugh and told him here in the U.S. He said I thought maybe you were born in the Virgin Islands, you sound so different. I told him I was born in the south and there is a different dialect in the south. You may need a translator if you ever visit the south.

  • blondie

    I was born in Bavaria, raised in the Hunsruck area between the Mosel and the Rhine.

    Most Germans speak high German with all Germans, and low German in the specific area.

    I found out that by using the phrase "guck mal" pinpointed me as being from the Hunsruck area. Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have various specific terms took much like Britain, Canada, US, and Australia.

    Yes, if you get off the beaten track in northern Georgia, it can be difficult.

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