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Fantastic Video Highlights The Way People Say Things Across America: VIDEO


A fun new video from The Atlantic has been created to accompany a series of maps made by Joshua Katz, a student at North Carolina State University.

The maps, which highlight regions of the U.S. based on pronunciation and word choice, were originally conceived in conjunction with a 2003 Harvard study on the subject of regional dialects. The video takes the infographics one step further as interviewers call up people from various regions and have them answer questions as the maps light up. Unsurprisingly, and somewhat humorously, the Midwestern, Southern, and Northeastern regions of the country have the most varied answers.

What are your favorite regional differences? 

Watch the fun and enlightening video, AFTER THE JUMP... 

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  1. a waste of goddamned time!

    actually, this was fun.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Nov 27, 2013 1:54:09 PM

  2. Other odd pronunciations: Almond and mayonnaise. In California an almond is pronounced as "all-mund" while in many other places it is pronounced "am-mund". In California we refer to mayonnaise as "may oh naise" while outside the state is is often called "main-naise".

    Interesting, huh?

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Nov 27, 2013 1:59:05 PM

  3. I'm from Mississippi and it was 100% accurate for that area. We always said "the Devil's beatin' his wife" when it rained with the sun out.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Nov 27, 2013 2:27:48 PM

  4. I remember as a kid being taken to the university where my mom was studying to be a special ed teacher. She had to do a paper on regionalisms, much like this video, and she talked to me about it. I always remember the soda/pop and fire/sack or sack/bag, creek/crick and route/"root" terms. It was really fascinating. Supposedly, the south is the closest to British English.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Nov 27, 2013 2:28:34 PM

  5. They should have done cart vs. buggy. That one always throws me when I am down south. I'm pushing a what?

    Posted by: AJ | Nov 27, 2013 2:39:01 PM

  6. I guess most of the country never has sunshowers.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 27, 2013 4:46:23 PM

  7. A fetus is not a miracle. It's an everyday occurrence.

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 27, 2013 5:41:04 PM

  8. This is so cool. Loved it

    Posted by: gabriel | Nov 28, 2013 9:01:38 AM

  9. AJ, in New England they call carts "carriages". Once a co-worker commented how stupid "cart" sounded to me (I'm a west coast transplant). I then asked them to describe how they bought something on amazon.com. Do you place your items in a virtual "carriage?" Buggy though? That's a new one to me.

    Posted by: Morgan | Nov 28, 2013 10:23:02 AM

  10. @Morgan,

    I grew up primarily in New England [Boston], and call them both carriages and carts. Today, they're almost universally called carts even here.


    There is no such thing as a "British Accent". Britain is made up of England, Wales, Scotland, and part of Ireland [at one time all of Ireland]. Each of these "countries" has many accents and dialects within them. What some Americans refer to as a "British" accent or English accent is a southeast England/London/estuary accent. The primary feature of said accent, at least to American ears, is they pronounce the letter R as "ah", not "er" as almost all Americans do. It's called a non-rhotic accent, and the only American accents that are non-rhotic are primarily the Boston, New York City accents and some parts of the southeast U.S., also a traditional New Orleans accent is non-rhotic, sounding very similar to a NYC accent. I suppose people with these accents sound the closest to what some Americans refer to as a "British" or English accent. A Boston and New York City accent[s] is really a corruption of a non-rhotic London/southern England accent[s].

    I went to school with a kid born and raised in New Orleans. I never knew he was from N.O. until he told me. I assumed he was from either the Boston area, Rhode Island or New York City area. I also have traveled and do travel outside the U.S. In Europe I'm almost universally assumed not to be American when I speak. Many have said they thought I was Australian, Dutch or maybe South African {!} I've had others say to me I don't look American, whatever that means. I just laugh. Whatever.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Nov 28, 2013 8:31:34 PM

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