American dialects mapped

Joshua Katz, at NC State University's Department of Statistics, compiled a series of simple, striking maps that visualize the words Americans use—and where they use them. The data was compiled from a survey conducted by Bert Vaux at the University of Cambridge. Below are just a few to whet your appetite for the full set of 122.

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  1. They forgot "tonic", used fairly frequently in parts of New England.

  2. xzzy says:

    I am quite saddened that Hawaii and Alaska have been ejected from the union.

  3. I hear kitty-corner used quite often. I've used it myself. It actually makes sense too. Cats don't pay attention to traffic rules, so if a cat wants to go from one corner of an intersection to the one across from them diagonally, they'll go directly. A human generally won't unless it's a corner with very little traffic.

    These maps would be even better if they included Canada.

  4. gee, Earl, that's a pretty sophisticated webpage you've got there. it says I'm from where I currently live in Atlanta no matter how I fill out the form.

  5. Though my siblings and I and my father are all native Southern Californians, my mom was born in St Louis. A certain amount of mirth was obtained at the expense of her occasional regional dialect oddities.

    "Hey, mom, what comes after thirty-nine?"

    "Farty."

    "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!"

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