Monday, January 22, 2018

Hey You Guys/Y'all/Youse Guys!

This morning, a member of one of my Facebook writing groups shared a dialect quiz. A series of 25 questions asks your preferred term for things like addressing a group of people, discussing the evening meal, or enjoying a sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage. Your responses generate a heat map, showing how similar your dialect is to different parts of the country:
The data for the quiz and maps shown here come from over 350,000 survey responses collected from August to October 2013 by Josh Katz, a graphics editor for the New York Times who developed this quiz and has since written “Speaking American,” a visual exploration of American regional dialects.

Most of the questions used in this quiz are based on those in the Harvard Dialect Survey, a linguistics project begun in 2002 by Bert Vaux and Scott Golder. The original questions and results for that survey can be found on Dr. Vaux’s current website.
I was raised in Kansas City, but have lived in Chicago for 14 years. I figured my dialect had changed in my time away, but it turns out you can take the girl out of Kansas City, but you can't take Kansas City out of the girl:

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