How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk

US Dialect mapping my map

I live in Kenya.  My kids go to school with kids from some 52 other countries.  A friend of mine, whose kid hangs out with mine, is from the state of Georgia.  When she sent me my first text with y’all in it, I laughed & was oddly excited & proud.

Thinking about those many times when I’m caught both trying to make myself understood in my home-away-from-home or to understand someone else (for example a native Swahili speaker), made me appreciate the following survey.

Caveat- this is a most U.S.-centric survey, but having said that it’s pretty darn fun.

Thanks to the NY Times survey, you answer 25 questions about how you pronounce words & what you call specific things.  It tallies your answers to give you a map that displays where (in the U.S.) speaks most & least like you.  My results are above.

Some of the answers are almost poetic.  Who knew somewhere in the U.S. people call it ‘the wolf is giving birth’ when it’s raining & sunny at the same time?US Dialect mapping2

Another interesting feature of the survey is you get your results to your last question immediately after you answer it.  See my example below.

US Dialect Mapping

More about the quiz:

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.

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.

Truth be told, diversity comes in all shades, flavours & sounds.  And that’s a very good thing.

Thanks to my pal Sharon Bressler, who passed it onto me,


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2 Responses to “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk”

  1. Elizabeth Bonner Says:
    April 1st, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Fascinating!!!! Thank you Lee-Anne!

  2. Lee-Anne Ragan Says:
    April 28th, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Did you take the ‘test’ Liz? Fun eh? (pun intended)

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