Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Way I Tauk

The New York Times has an interactive quiz where you can see where you are likely to be from based on your speech. Here are my results:
I was born in New Jersey and spent my formative years in Philadelphia and upstate New York* so this is pretty good. The maps at the bottom show your "most distinctive" answers. Sneakers does not seem very distinctive to me and hoagie is kind of a trick question. To me a hoagie is a certain type of sandwich, whereas others are just subs. I would never eat a tuna hoagie though some people might call it that.

Also interesting is the results of where your speech is the least similar. I am clearly NOT from Spokane. There is certainly a pattern here.
Don't be caught saying "mountain lion" in Tacoma! Unless referring to an Apple operating system.
The quiz is based on 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.
From the New York Times Site:
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. The colors on the large heat map correspond to the probability that a randomly selected person in that location would respond to a randomly selected survey question the same way that you did. The three smaller maps show which answer most contributed to those cities being named the most (or least) similar to you.
If you're wondering where you are from, take the quiz here

*Yonkers in NOT upstate New York despite what Longislanders might think.

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