10 Graphs Prove American English Is Like a Bunch Of Different Foreign Languages
The way you speak is probably right, but it's probably not right. Confused? Don't be. It depends on where you live. Geographic variation in pronunciation and word choice (including words for things you never heard of) is a thing, as anyone who's traveled across America can tell you. And, it has officially been mapped.
You're welcome, America. Now when you visit New Orleans, Chicago, Chattanooga, or Los Angeles, you can order soda, pop, coke, or a soft drink (respectively) like a real local.
Joshua Katz, a Ph.D student in the Department of Statistics at NC State University doing a bunch of awesome nerdy stuff (spatial statistics, epidemiological modeling, data visualization and information design), took the time to map Professor Bert Vaux and Scott Golder's dialect survey. See the results of the full survey here.
And now, for your enjoyment and sheer bewilderment, are a few of the awesome maps of words and pronunciations of things that you got wrong:
1. It'll be a Miracle if we figure all this out
2.Don't get caught in the wrong part of the country needing a Lawyer
3. It offends me that I didn't know this was a thing, but I'm not alone
4. "I Have No Words For This Critter." 'Nuff said
5. Can't I just call it a magical fairy?
6. Speaking of awesome bugs, here's one I used to collect [a.k.a, kill via suffocation]
7. We know how these work in Davis, Calif., but with so many names, no wonder most people have no idea how to navigate these
8. As a West Coast kid, this offends me
9. I didn't know this existed, but my college town needs one
10. And now I am done ogling these maps ... or was it Oogling? Ah, who cares...
Cheers, America. Good luck with the language.
Wanna talk semantics? Get at me on Twitter: @johnathendd