Patterico's Pontifications

12/23/2013

Where Are You From? Take the Dialect Test

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:22 pm

Regular readers will remember a fun video about regional dialects that I published here on Thanksgiving. Well, now the New York Times has gone and created a 25-question quiz that claims to be able to place your dialect on the map. I learned about it from my brother-in-law, who lives in Lexington, Kentucky — and whose map put him in Lexington, Kentucky. (Each quiz generates a map with three cities whose dialects are most similar to yours. Lexington was one of the cities on his map.) As for me, here is my map:

Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 10.56.47 PM

That . . . is pretty much dead on. Sure, I live in California, but I speak pretty much the same way today as I always have — and I grew up in Fort Worth, one of the towns on my map. All my towns center narrowly around the area where I grew up. That makes sense to me, as I think my speech patterns have changed very little since I was a teenager. It gives people in California fits at times. I think I have mentioned before how I got back a transcript where my “y’all” was annotated with a parenthetical reading “phonetic.” And how I had an interview with a law firm once in Los Angeles, years ago, where a woman asked me if I really said “y’all.” I opened my mouth to say “yes” and the male interviewer snapped: “Of COURSE he doesn’t! He speaks English!” (I didn’t get the job.)

Our kids’ maps center around California: Long Beach, Corona, Fremont, and Glendale are the types of towns I see on theirs.

This thing seems to be going viral. Our waitress last night had just taken it. It’s all over Facebook. Fun stuff.

Is your map accurate? What questions amuse you? And: are there really people out there who call a median “neutral ground”? Do y’all think a street is some kind of a battlefield? What is wrong with you? Learn to speak correctly!

249 Comments

  1. I don’t know how they do this, but it’s pretty cool. I am amazed how accurate they are.

    Comment by Patterico (a6cf95) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:24 pm

  2. is there opposed to be a link for the quiz?

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:32 pm

  3. you know 47 is a LOT of ronin

    I don’t really know what purpose that many ronin could possibly serve

    realistically

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:36 pm

  4. I’v lived in Utah for 14 years now, but it pegged me as Rockford and Aurora, IL and then Grand Rapids, MI as my 3rd city. Since I grew up in the NW suburbs of Chicago…. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

    Comment by pkudude99 (a66da0) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:39 pm

  5. Forgot to link the quiz! Fixed.

    Comment by Patterico (a6cf95) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:40 pm

  6. Many more questions here. One I had never thought about before: do you pronounce the final consonant in Texas as an “s” or a “z”?

    Me, it’s a “z.” I wonder if other Texans pronounce it the same way.

    Comment by Patterico (a6cf95) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:42 pm

  7. There is a very detailed breakdown of Texas pronunciations here.

    I’m getting tired and have only made it through 26, but disagree with only two so far. First of all, “mischievous” is pronounced with three syllables, just because it is. Look at how it’s spelled. I have heard four syllables used quite a bit, but I also know how to spell.

    Second disagreement: “route” is “root” to me. The page says Texans use that pronunciation interchangeably with “rout” but I don’t.

    Comment by Patterico (a6cf95) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:50 pm

  8. it put me in texas/arkansas/louisiana

    what’s kinda more interesting is to know that in New England, Michigan, Minnesota (where I go a lot), the Dakotas, Utah, and the Pacific NW, they’d spot me as an interloper a mile away

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:53 pm

  9. I’m texas with an s if that helps

    I’m a south texas boy though

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:54 pm

  10. I found it – I missed it in the newspaper – it’s in the Sunday Review (editorials and opinion, formerly Week in Review) section on page 7 – I didn’t read that thoroughly.

    But my browser is out of date, so I can’t see it on this computer:

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/20/sunday-review/dialect-quiz-map.html?_r=0

    I’m missing the text and/or it seems to be different text than what was in the newspaper.

    IN my opinion, this is much less true than in England especially in the time of George Bernard Shaw / Henry Higgins (character in Pygmalion and half a century later, My Fair Lady), but if you carefully pick your questions, you may be able to tell where someone comes from.

    The newspaper gives four sample questions:

    What do you call a sale of unwanted items held in your porch, in your hard, etc.

    No standard name.

    What do you call the rubber-soled shoes worn in gym class for athlectic activities?

    Do they mean sneakers? Are the soles rubber? I know they’re not leather. That’s a big point.

    What do you call the large motor vehicles used to carry freight?

    Well, that wouldn’t be a train. It’s a motor vehicle. Trucks, of course. But I wouldn’t use the word “freight” to describe what’s in it.

    How would you address a group of two or more people?

    Ladies and Gentlemen? Or, more likely, nothing. Just start talking.

    Maybe you could use: “People” (That comes from New York Times columnist Gail Collins, I think.)

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:59 pm

  11. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and my personal map puts me in…Texas. Specifically Irving/Plano/Arlington. How does that work?

    Comment by wherestherum (bab56b) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:01 am

  12. For me, Dixie is blue with white spots, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan look like someone bled all over them, and between those is a pale yellow river (Florida’s that color, too.) Buffalo, NY, Detroit and Grand Rapids. Huh? I did live in Lansing for three years, I’ve never been in New York at all.

    Comment by htom (412a17) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:05 am

  13. The link to the original survey, except I can’t load the page:

    http://www.tekstlab.uio.no/cambridge_survey/

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:06 am

  14. Comment by Patterico (a6cf95) — 12/23/2013 @ 11:42 pm

    One I had never thought about before: do you pronounce the final consonant in Texas as an “s” or a “z”?

    Me, it’s a “z.” I wonder if other Texans pronounce it the same way.

    It’s an “s” of course. A zee???

    I’d say pronouncing the X as a H would be more likely. Or maybe that’s only for Mexico.

    The Marx Brothers, once had a joke, about “money, Dollars, taxes.”

    Maybe here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM01v_vVnbg

    “That’sa right. Money, Dollars, Taxes” (Dallas, Texas)

    The real questions about state name pronunciations are about Arkansas, Illinois (is the last syllable pronounced?) and Missouri.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:09 am

  15. I had no idea that the “tennis shoes” that the proverbial Barry Goldwater supporters in 1964 wore are the same things as “sneakers”

    Or are they?

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:12 am

  16. Patterico: Do you use two z’s when you say Texas?

    Like “Texzez”

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (dbe090) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:14 am

  17. wherestherum,

    You are obviously an intelligent Californian.

    Comment by Patterico (a4c795) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:16 am

  18. wherestherum also bakes pretty good cookies, and she’s an ‘ette too!

    8-)

    Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:20 am

  19. Hold the fort. This thing also says Texans pronounce “caramel” with three syllables.

    I do, if I am repeating my wife’s drink order at the Starbucks. But I call it “CAR-mel.”

    Comment by Patterico (a4c795) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:22 am

  20. When I repeat the drink order it’s almost like I am speaking a different language anyway. A strange coffee language.

    Comment by Patterico (a4c795) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:23 am

  21. Stockton, Sacramento & Santa Rosa?

    what a load of hooey. oh well, at least they got me in the right state, even if they’re off by a couple 100 miles.

    Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:30 am

  22. Hi, red! Nice to see you. I’m in fact baking more cookies tomorrow for Christmas dessert. :)

    I really wanted to click on some of the more British terms that were in answer to some of the questions just to see where it would put me.

    Comment by wherestherum (bab56b) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:56 am

  23. wherestherum #22 – I am a Brit – and it put me all over the place … (grin)… and most maps for me were a bright blue … (something about my conservative roots, I suppose !)

    Most of the time, when someone asks me where is my accent from, I will respond with “I don’t have an accent. *You* do !” (accompanied by my trademark innocent grin)

    Comment by Alastor (2e7f9f) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:21 am

  24. Maybe 30 years ago I would have answered “tonic” but I chose “soda”. I think a lot of the Boston dialect is getting diluted by people who settle around here after college and bring their funny non-Boston accents with them.

    Comment by Dave (in MA) (35a832) — 12/24/2013 @ 2:32 am

  25. Just remember, when you go out to shoot some shocks in the hawba, that you don’t lack your keees in the caaaaw!

    Comment by Yoda (c1890a) — 12/24/2013 @ 2:56 am

  26. Or should that be spelled “Caaah”?

    Comment by Yoda (c1890a) — 12/24/2013 @ 2:57 am

  27. Spot on! Lived most of my life in NYC and that was thr prime hit with next door Yonkers a runner-up.

    Comment by Michael M. Keohane (747604) — 12/24/2013 @ 3:10 am

  28. Grew up near Philly; map puts me in Detroit, MI; Toledo, OH; and Rockford, IL. Clean miss.

    Of course that was many years ago and I’ve lived in PA, AL, NC, NE, WY, ND, AR, and WA to name a few. To be fair, the map did show a hot spot in the Philly area.

    Comment by Bill M (c8f413) — 12/24/2013 @ 3:51 am

  29. Buffalo, Salt Lake City, Tacoma. (Chicago since 1967.)

    I should have known this wouldn’t work for me. I larnt my vocabulary from books — schoolbooks and other books. Not from listening to second generation ethnic Northwestsiders.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/24/2013 @ 4:09 am

  30. This put me in Irving or Plano or Brownsville (all Texas).

    Not too bad, as I’ve lived across Texas most of my life.

    I say caramel with three syllables.

    Comment by Dustin (a9d2bc) — 12/24/2013 @ 4:51 am

  31. Mine wasn’t even close to accurate. It gave me San Francisco, Stockton, and Salt Lake City. I’ve spent only a few days in either SF or SLC, and only stopped in Stockton to fill my gas tank.

    I grew up in the Los Angeles area, and have lived in Reno, Denver, Austin, and now Las Vegas. I have no idea how the quiz came up with my results.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (7f50c5) — 12/24/2013 @ 5:50 am

  32. It got the state right (Virginia) but picked three cities I’ve never lived in – Newport News, Virginia Beach and Arlington – rather than Richmond. I wonder why that is.

    Comment by radar (428112) — 12/24/2013 @ 5:51 am

  33. Wow! It was pretty close. Rochester, NY is very close to my hometown.

    Comment by Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba) — 12/24/2013 @ 6:07 am

  34. Mine placed me in Aurora, CO. Wichita, KS. and Springfield, MO. Not really close. At all.

    Comment by JD (1fed6f) — 12/24/2013 @ 6:08 am

  35. Stockton, Santa Rosa and Reno for me, but not in that order. I shot a man in Reno, watched him die and then fled west.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (e355fe) — 12/24/2013 @ 6:09 am

  36. Off by 325 miles to the closest, and 950 miles to the furthest.

    Comment by JD (1fed6f) — 12/24/2013 @ 6:16 am

  37. “Neutral Ground” comes from New Orleans, I think. It was literally a place between spheres of control of the various nationalities that split up the town in the old days, a place where they could meet and trade goods without being subject to taxes from either side.

    How’s that for a (possibly fictional) explanation?

    Comment by Pious Agnostic (ac89e5) — 12/24/2013 @ 6:32 am

  38. Einstein, mutters what did I tell you;

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-gitmo-releases-20131220,0,254024.story#axzz2oFknNDJ8

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:11 am

  39. Pat,
    Your Texas roots are evident from your good character and work ethic.

    Comment by AZ Bob (ade845) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:15 am

  40. Racists.

    Comment by Icy (871a3a) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:18 am

  41. The quiz put me in Omaha. Most of my parents’ families come from that area of the country. I’ve never lived there, but I do talk the way my parents talk.

    Comment by Bob Ellison (c67160) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:51 am

  42. Not even close. Had me in either Arizona or D.C. I grew up in Seattle and only lived briefly in the D.C. area recently.

    Comment by Jeff Weimer (bb9480) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:52 am

  43. Second time’s the charm, had me in Seattle, Tacoma, and Salt Lake City.

    Pinged on Potato Bug.

    Comment by Jeff Weimer (bb9480) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:57 am

  44. It got the state right (Virginia) but picked three cities I’ve never lived in – Newport News, Virginia Beach and Arlington – rather than Richmond. I wonder why that is.

    Comment by radar (428112) — 12/24/2013 @ 5:51 am

    You in the Navy?

    Comment by Jeff Weimer (bb9480) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:58 am

  45. I took the test at nytimes.com/interactive

    I was able to do so in the library.

    For several I said I had no word for it, and actually none of teh choices for “crayon” looked right, but I picked cray-ahn (shoukld be cray-on)

    It gave me New York, Jersey City and Yonkers.

    Long Island actually looked browner, more similar than anything else, but there’s no separate big city there.

    Quite red were all of the state of New Jersey, New York up the Hudson River, and eastern Pennsylvania, and even maryland and Delaware..

    Also, interestingly, a lot of North Carolina (many New Yrkers have moved there)

    And somewhat orange are I think the area around st louis in Missouri and Illinois.

    And South Carolina and Alabama are a little bit orange – it must be all those blacks from the north who have moved back south since 1970.

    But Miami is just all yellow.

    Most New York City, Yonkers AND Jersey City answer is:

    What do you call the rubber-soled shoes worn in gym class or for athletic activities?

    sneakers

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:01 am

  46. On closer examination, it is maybe only Nassau County that looks really brown – not eastern Suffolk, but maybe the sample is too small, because it’s gray.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:04 am

  47. Grew up in Tidewater Virginia, mom was local but my father was from Philly. Spent the next 40 years in coastal California. The survey put me in DC, Baltimore, and Winston-Salem. Surprisingly close but no cigar.

    Comment by ropelight (5e5691) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:06 am

  48. I can’t tell what color is New York City, becaus ethe black dots for Yonkers, Jersey City and New York obscure it. It might be a deep brown too.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:07 am

  49. I’m born & raised in Melbourne Australia, so well outside it’s intended range, but I gave it a go anyway.

    It picked New York, Newark/Patterson, Jersey City.

    Comment by Craig Mc (b890e3) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:20 am

  50. Surprise, surprise, I’m from New England (lived here for all of my 50 years).

    Comment by Captain Ned (401d83) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:28 am

  51. 49. Rupert Murdoch I think moved to New York City in 1976, and he brought a lot of Australians with him to help run the New York Post.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:28 am

  52. I grew up in Webster Groves, MO. The quiz put me in Stockton, Modesto, or Fresno, CA. I lived in five different cities in California ages 17-62.

    Comment by Charlie Davis (35738e) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:30 am

  53. I grew up in Pasadena and the test placed me in Glendale, Fresno, or Grand Rapids. It also indicated that eastern Washington would be a better fit for me than the Puget Sound region, which certainly reflects my political preferences. My Dad was a Goldwater supporter and I was impressed by SF’s characterization of his footwear. Although his shoes were actually a gum soled shoe with a brown fabric top and not sneakers or gym shoes. I had difficulty with that question as I have a number of different shoes for different gym-like activities. My Dad also enjoyed wearing a Stetson which I still have.

    Comment by bobathome (c0c2b5) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:30 am

  54. I think it gives regions roughly accurately but not so much specific cities. It also seems to have a limited data base of cities: Los Angeles and Dallas do not show up but Long Beach and Irving do.

    Comment by Patterico (734bea) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:36 am

  55. My map was wildly inaccurate. It put me in three cities which were wildly geographically dispersed, one of which was Bakersfield (!!).

    But … playing with language is something I love, and so I pick up expressions as I go, and my actual day-to-day language shifts a lot depending on who I’m spending time with. (Everone does this to a certain extent – it’s called code switching, among linguists, and it’s a pretty well known phenomenon, but I have a rather extreme version of it).

    One thing that surprises me: there’s something about being in NYC which has triggered me to say “ya’ll” *regularly* in a way that I wouldn’t have in California, despite having spent part of my childhood in Texas.

    Comment by aphrael (a53681) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:44 am

  56. Any of you old guys? In Chicago, 14 blocks straight west from Wrigley, across the street from WGN studios, “running shoes” for sneakers was a joke/mild insult in 1971. Meaning you had them on to get away with a purse or from the police. You did not wear your Keds or Converse All Stars as street shoes.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:45 am

  57. Sammy, at 45: I lived in NJ until I was 7. So ‘sneakers’ is the word I learned for those shoes. But I’d forgotten that it was a regionalism, and so had spent years confused about where i’d learned the word, until I saw a dialect map keying on that word. :)

    Comment by aphrael (a53681) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:46 am

  58. I have been thinking about this “route” pronunciation. Surely if I say we were re-routed through a different area, I say re-rout-ed.

    Maybe I have said “rout” at times, but by itself I have mostly settled on “root.”

    Those extra questions I linked in the comments are fascinating and may merit a separate post highlighting my favorite ones.

    Comment by Patterico (36c80d) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:49 am

  59. Patterico at 58: I’ve always followed a ‘root’ when driving or flying or whatever, but when I was a letter carrier, I had a ‘rout’.

    I spent first almost-50 years of my life in Seattle, last 10 in rural SE Washington. My three cities were Spokane, Salt Lake, and Des Moines (Iowa not Wash.)

    Comment by John Pomeroy (5e2664) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:02 am

  60. Some comments:

    5.the vowel in the second syllable of “cauliflower”

    That’s Collie-flower (as in Lassie or the (I think) the vowel in the nickname for California.)
    Li as in Lee.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever heard centaur pronounced.

    coupon Coop-pon (as in C. Everett Koop)

    Craig (the name)

    To rhyme with Alexander Haig. I remember the Craig tape recorders. I used to have a mike that could pause it. Later my parents found two used ones, but I eventually broke bnboth T-switches.

    creek (a small body of running water)

    Rhymes with Geek or Greek of course. What else?

    31.asterisk

    That’s a hard one. I’m not sure what’s right. I think people say asterik – buit what about that s?

    et cetra.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:02 am

  61. you go to sonic for happy hour you know how to say route

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV_ebpcfa4w

    Comment by happyfeet (c60db2) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:04 am

  62. Is your map accurate?

    Yes. Centered around the Bay Area (SF, Stockton, and Santa Rosa).

    And apparently, I have some similarity with upstate New Yorkers as well, for some unknown reason.

    Comment by Blacque Jacques Shellacque (3393eb) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:07 am

  63. took it 4 times to make sure. Closest it got was the last time where it said Detroit, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge. The other times it said Chicago, Detroit, and Buffalo, then twice Rockford, Grand Rapids, Detroit. I grew up in the U.P. of Michigan (I’m a Yooper Yuse Guys) … Jeff Daniels’ movie “Escanaba in da Moonlight” is a pretty good rendition of the accent I grew up with (but had less of than my relatives) as is some of the “Fargo” versions … then I lived in the New Orleans area for 20 years(Kenner Dah’lin and long sandwiches there are PoBoys, not Poor Boys, and now live in the DFW area of Texas. I never had the heavy Yooper accent, and didn’t really pick up the N.O. sounds, but many of the phrases (Neutral Ground, PoBoy, Crawfish or Crawdads, instead of crayfish that I grew up saying) though now I tend to toss in the DFW versions from time to time.
    Basically I’m a butcher of accents.

    Comment by JP Kalishek (9b6108) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:23 am

  64. Wow. Map put me as a small red blob around upstate New York, naming Rochester and Buffalo. But I’m really from Syracuse. :o

    Comment by rfy (3f9af1) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:26 am

  65. 57. Comment by aphrael (a53681) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:46 am

    Sammy, at 45: I lived in NJ until I was 7. So ‘sneakers’ is the word I learned for those shoes. But I’d forgotten that it was a regionalism,

    I had no idea there was any other word for it, besides brand names. I’ve read or heard of some of these othwr names bt had no idea they were the same thing.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:41 am

  66. I took the test 3 times and still didn’t get an answer. Either they are too busy or they can’t find me. I did move a lot in my younger years and went to school in 7 different states. So I guess I failed.

    Comment by PatAZ (77d163) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:46 am

  67. I got Lincoln (very close, I’m in Omaha but lived in Lincoln for 4 years), then Wichita (culturally very similar), and then, oddly, Santa Rosa, CA. I have no idea what Santa Rosa is like, but at least now I’m interested.

    Comment by SB (0340e6) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:48 am

  68. My parents were from Nebraska, but I was born in Cincinnati. Moved to South Florida when I was 11, and have lived in Orlando for 33 years.

    So, naturally: Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Baton Rouge.

    Comment by Pious Agnostic (ac89e5) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:50 am

  69. PatAZ #66 – nahhhhh – you just didn’t give the pat answers …

    Comment by Alastor (2e7f9f) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:52 am

  70. I am guessing that most commenters on here pronounce the shift-8 character correctly (the “*”) … because they recognise it as the Nathan Hale character …

    Wasn’t it Nathan Hale who famously said “I regret I have but one * for my country !” ?

    Comment by Alastor (2e7f9f) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:55 am

  71. Life long Southern Cali, the quiz placed me at Santa Rosa, Modesto, and Sacramento – all of which I’ve visited but never lived in.

    What was immensely interesting to me were the strange and puzzling options. All a bit poetic, yet one has to wonder what are the origins for such terms? These options make Californians look positively dull.


    What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?

    sunshower

    the wolf is giving birth

    the devil is beating his wife

    monkey’s wedding

    fox’s wedding

    pineapple rain

    liquid sun

    Comment by Dana (e1b018) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:58 am

  72. 71. What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?

    I said I had no word for that. That was one out of 3 or 4 where I said that. The survey said I was like nobody.

    But for one of the choices, a lot of the people had no word for it – in fact just about every place in the country had no word for it.

    That was, what do you call a strip of grass between between the sidewalk and the street? The question called that a curb. I think and it can also be called a gutter. The street, I mean.

    I call that what the city stupidly got rid of in one place I know. Meanwhile, they are adding green somewhere else.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:09 am

  73. According to the map of my results, my three closest cities are Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama, and Jackson, Mississippi.

    Where am I from, you ask? Indianapolis, Indiana, born and raised. Never lived anywhere else.

    WTF? :-)

    Comment by Jeff Lebowski (0c90ae) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:09 am

  74. Mom took it and got Rochester, Newark, and Washington D.C. She grew up on Long Island.

    Comment by Patterico (a6cf95) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:13 am

  75. My wife is familiar with the “the devil is beating his wife” expression.

    Comment by Patterico (a6cf95) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:14 am

  76. Alastor at 70.

    Well, the shift-8 key is also known as the “star”

    As in “star dot star” [*.*]

    Nathan Hale said, or is supposed to have said:

    “I regret I have but one life to give for my country !”

    (everything after “said” does not appear in the preview)

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:15 am

  77. The key at the bottom right of the telephone keypad seems to be known as the “pound” key, at least on the telephone, but it is also known as a “hash tag” on Twitter.

    And it is called “number” on the typewriter keyboard. Sometimes an alternatve name on the telephone.

    Now, I thought # always meant Number or No.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:17 am

  78. I am from one of the snootiest california coastal areas… and the most similar town on my list was…. Bakersfield. Followed by Fresno and Modesto.
    Ouch. We say mean things about them without thinking about it… like this: Person A: I see USC beat the crap out of Fresno States football team in that meaningless bowl game out in Vegas.
    Person B: I guess they are too dumb even for football.

    The good folks down in Shreveport and I would evidently need a translator.

    Comment by steveg (794291) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:23 am

  79. I’ve heard “the devil is beating his wife” all my life, but according to the quiz it’s from Mississippi or thereabouts (where I’ve never lived).

    Incidentally, this is an expression that gives studious feminists of a certain disposition the jumping fits, so I recommend using it as often as possible in their presence.

    Apparently, they have a lot of sympathy with the devil’s wife.

    Comment by Pious Agnostic (ac89e5) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:27 am

  80. Patterico,

    My dad is from Long Island, too. He has been out of NY for about 60 years, to So. Cali and Washington, respectively, yet has not lost his NY accent, nor any of the NY colloquialisms.

    Is “the devil beating his wife” local to Texas?

    Comment by Dana (e1b018) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:29 am

  81. My cities are in the Metroplex, even though I haven’t lived there in 55 years. But I still think it’s right because I doubt they have many West Texas cities in their database and because we West Texans probably sound a lot like DFW folks.

    Also, I say Texas with a z, and I pronounce route as root.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:40 am

  82. It’s interesting. I get Fresno and Modesto and a bit of Salt Lake City. I was born and raised in Southern California…but my father and mother grew up in Central California (and my father’s family is from Utah).

    Interesting, huh?

    Comment by Simon Jester (cb077c) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:42 am

  83. It nailed me for Chicago. I think “kitty corner” gave me away.

    Comment by CrustyB (5a646c) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:43 am

  84. I came out Oklahoma City/Aurora Ill./Pittsburgh.
    It would be interesting to do it several times alternating some answers.
    For example, “Hoagie” is what I call it after living in philly, but if I wasn’t in Philly I might go ahead and call it a sub.
    Bubbler put me outside of Chicago and North, but I grew up calling it a water fountain, so I use both.
    Crayfish, crawfish, and crawdad I use interchangeably, but I do call it a mudbug if I’m talking to my friend from Louisiana.
    It is always Kitty-corner though.
    The intersection where several roads all come together in a circle? the first time I encountered one, driving into DC, I called it “crazy”, but that wasn’t a choice. I literally went to the center lane and took a couple of laps figuring out what to do next.
    gym shoes>tennis shoe>sneakers.

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:44 am

  85. It says I’m from Sacramento.

    I find that disturbing, the Times can peg me like that.

    Comment by papertiger (c2d6da) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:49 am

  86. i think i usually say root but I say route when I’m talking about an address like “rural route 47″ or a postal route or a newspaper route

    a foolish consistency is a hobgoblin and hobgoblins are bad

    Comment by happyfeet (c60db2) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:50 am

  87. Born in Houston, raised on the Texas coast, lived in Fort Worth since ’85. It has three cities for me: Shreveport (my father was born and raised about 30 miles from there), Jackson, and Montgomery.

    Texas with a z. The devil’s been beating his wife all my life. And we don’t have routes in Texas, at least not as in “Route 66.” They’re all highways, even the FM (farm-to-market) roads.

    Comment by Diffus (48ae73) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:53 am

  88. The quiz must be more elaborate and interactive than it appears. I see people mention questions I didn’t see. It must key off of given answers and then decide what to ask next to discriminate between different specific possibilities.

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:54 am

  89. Sammy – does Nathan Hale’s quote not paraphrase to

    “I regret I have but one ass to risk for my country!” ?

    (sigh)

    Comment by Alastor (2e7f9f) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:55 am

  90. yeah the “rural route” thing just came up cause of i had to send christmas to my people in iowa

    Comment by happyfeet (c60db2) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:58 am

  91. Minneapolis, Madison and Des-Moines

    God Bless Fly Over Country.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:58 am

  92. #78… careful, steveg… never teh smart play to find your amusement at the expense of the folks who grow and provide much of the food we all depend on. Coastal hipsters are a dime a useless dozen.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (55e100) — 12/24/2013 @ 11:00 am

  93. A very clever ploy by Patterico to get us to divulge where we hail from… Well played.

    From the comments there appear to be several versions of the quiz since I did not see some of the questions mentioned by commenters.

    My cities were odd: Modesto & Fresno CA and Salt Lake City. Never lived in any, only in SLC twice (changing planes on the way to Bozeman) and drove through Modesto & Fresno a couple times.

    First 50+ years in SF Bay Area, now on west slope of the Sierra. One parent from Iowa/Nebraska, the other central Washington state… those are the people who gave me language. Along with that contingent from the Tennessee National Guard at Fort Lewis in 1967… I probably wouldn’t need that translator in LA as someone mentioned earlier.

    Some people have some strange names for common things…

    Sammy: that grass area between the sidewalk and curb is a parking strip, some come equipped with a tree.

    The path between two places is a route (root), but I once had a paper route (rout).

    Comment by gramps, the original (64b8ca) — 12/24/2013 @ 11:02 am

  94. It pegged me between Richmond, Newport News and Norfolk, which is where I lived from 1984-2000 (in Hampton, actually.)

    Comment by The Tidewater Dana (af9ec3) — 12/24/2013 @ 11:09 am

  95. My wife is familiar with the “the devil is beating his wife” expression.

    My mother used to say that. She is from New Orleans. Must be a southern thing.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (11fb31) — 12/24/2013 @ 11:10 am

  96. First, fun, whiney filings in the Kimberlin state case (in which Patrick is not a co-defendant), follow the link on my name to read more and laugh.

    As for the subject at hand, i am very dubious. My accent is mainly southern (although many Pennsylvanians think I sound just like them). But in terms of the terms I use, its all over the place. I use rural pennsylvania terms like “chuck” for throw. I say “oy vey,” and call people schmucks. I say ya’ll. I say a lot of dude. I occasionally say you might could do something.

    I think in all frankness the test is too shallow to really get a handle on things, or else they would admit they don’t know where i am from, or at least they would put NC and PA on my map.

    Comment by Aaron "Worthing" Walker (23789b) — 12/24/2013 @ 11:18 am

  97. It placed me within 90 miles of my Colorado hometown, though I also closely matched Detroit for some reason.

    I pronounce “route” both ways, depending on whether it is a noun or verb. I would say to someone, “Let me ROWT you back to ROOT 66.” Is that weird?

    Comment by JVW (709bc7) — 12/24/2013 @ 11:21 am

  98. The questions are obviously interactive, with some questions determined by previous answers. I’m seeing questions here which I didn’t see on the test.

    Comment by The Dana in Pennsylvania, with the Tidewater accent (af9ec3) — 12/24/2013 @ 11:26 am

  99. Where I’m really from, they call rain while the sun is shining “disease”, because where the raindrops remain on broad green leaves there’s brown, dead spots afterwards. Possibly the raindrops act as lenses and cook the leaf.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/24/2013 @ 11:44 am

  100. I finally got an answer by going on Firefox. Louisville, Cattanooga and Jackson, MS. I have been thru those places but never lived there. Actually born in Ga and spent most of my younger years in FL. So at least it has me in the South.

    Good one, Alastor. #69

    Comment by PatAZ (77d163) — 12/24/2013 @ 11:47 am

  101. It’s a crystal clear 72 degrees here in my corner of the woods. Sun is shining brightly and while it feels strange to wear flip-flops in December, it is the wonder that is Southern Cal in the winter. I was at the ocean yesterday and it was glittering like a million tiny diamonds in the warm sunshine, and the surfers and swimmers were enjoying the waves while I worked on my tan.

    Christmas in So. Cal – nothing beats it.

    Comment by Dana (e1b018) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:07 pm

  102. If you answer “other” or “I don’t have a word for this,” they think you are from Glendale, LA, or Boston.

    Comment by Tom (cef3d8) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:08 pm

  103. meanwhile, speaking of Texas…

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/12/ut-austin-and-texas-am-sponsoring-annual-meeting-of-anti-israel-academic-boycott-group/

    Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:24 pm

  104. It has me as the SF Bay area (SF, Fremont, San Jose) when I’m 3rd generation Southern Cal. Pretty much fighting words.

    OTOH, going by the color shading, there’s not much difference between NoCal and SoCal coastal cities.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:59 pm

  105. Christmas in So. Cal – nothing beats it.

    Christmas in Maui is pretty good too, but yeah, the So Cal weather is the biggest reason I’m still here.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:00 pm

  106. Tried it twice, got a few different questions. To my unending surprise it puts me in Northern New England. Go figure.

    Comment by Captain Ned (401d83) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:03 pm

  107. One question they called out as decisive was about “name of drive-through liquor stores”. I would imagine there are more of those in Texas than California. I’ve never seen one here, and would expect that “illegal” is the best CA answer, but wasn’t listed.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:11 pm

  108. I can see Grand Rapids and Detroit because I lived for three years in Lansing, but Buffalo makes no sense. Yes, People are talking about questions I didn’t see. This is a bad plan for the quiz, making it shorter while sacrificing accuracy if an early question is answered with a parent’s or wife’s choice of word, learned very early or along the way. I’ll guess that my Mom’s time on the east coast in WW2 bent my tongue, and then it kept pushing me west.

    Cities it should have picked — Billings or Helena MT, Aberdeen SD, Fargo ND, St. Paul MN, Lansing MI. Greater Minneapolis for the last 40 years.

    Creek is pronounced krik, kr-ick.

    The grass strip between the curb and the sidewalk is the boulevard.

    Comment by htom (412a17) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:13 pm

  109. That’s funny, Kevin M, I didn’t have the “name of drive-through liquor stores” question..

    Comment by Dana (e1b018) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:13 pm

  110. Very accurately, Aurora/Chicago/Rockford. One minor gripe, not all “yard” sales are garage sales in the Chicago area. A garage sale is in the garage. Or as we say, “groj,” As in, “Give me the grojkey, I gotta go in da groj.”

    Comment by the wolf (7befac) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:14 pm

  111. When it comes to terminology, I must be a “selective adopter”.
    Born in Los Angeles, and raised in a suburban dairy-oriented community in L.A.Co, and still living in the same general area.
    The map gives me three cities that I have never lived in, and have rarely (one: Never) passed through:
    Fresno, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City.
    Probably should have gone into Radio/TV.

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:27 pm

  112. Comment by Dana (e1b018) — 12/24/2013 @ 12:07 pm

    It is a Wonder!

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:29 pm

  113. Pegged my wife perfectly. Boston, Providence and Worcester.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:38 pm

  114. for drive through liquor stores, i was going to answer “great idea”, but that wasn’t an option either.

    and yeah, locating this LA native in the ghey Bay was an insult for me too.

    Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:50 pm

  115. Christmas weather in The Valley, like totally, fer sure.

    http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=34.237199333740335&lon=-118.47553253173828

    H8 on, H8rs!

    Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 12/24/2013 @ 1:53 pm

  116. The valley remains grody to the max.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/24/2013 @ 2:03 pm

  117. #92

    I know.
    One of my best friends is from the central valley and graduated from Fresno St. home of the fighting raisins. I told my friend about this quiz and my result and I believe it made his day.
    It’s 80 degrees out and we just got back from riding our bikes in the mountains with shorts and a t-shirt and everyone I spoke to made some remark about how great this is compared to _______________.

    I don’t see the need to make the snotty comparison, but it happens all the time. I think it comes from families who sacrificed to get out to the coast and away from the cold.
    When I was young we’d make a long distance call on Christmas to grandma and uncles, aunts back in Flint, MI and we were forbidden to mention the weather.
    Interestingly I did not score any word that is particular to Michigan

    Comment by steveg (794291) — 12/24/2013 @ 2:20 pm

  118. Brew Thru are the drive through liquor stores. I first saw them in Carolina, on the Outer Banks.

    And you needn’t ask which Carolina; for those of us who used to live in Virginia, there was only one Carolina.

    Comment by The Southern Dana (af9ec3) — 12/24/2013 @ 2:22 pm

  119. I call it the center divider if it is concrete and dirt with an attempt at landscaping, and a parkway if it is grassy and maintained.

    100 miles south in LA people use the word freeway, but I say highway because the only route through town for years was US Highway 101.

    Comment by steveg (794291) — 12/24/2013 @ 2:31 pm

  120. Later we’d call Flint and were forbidden to mention that it was a dying ****hole or that it was exactly the type of place Mikhail Kalashnikov was thinking of when he invented the AK-47.
    My dad practically begged his sister to move out here, but she missed the winter and my cousins were/are UAW to the core.
    I’ll never be able to understand….

    Comment by steveg (794291) — 12/24/2013 @ 2:40 pm

  121. Even tho I no longer say “bubbler” it pegged me as arising from ‘Mihwaukee’(the ‘l’ is silent).

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/24/2013 @ 2:50 pm

  122. 117. Last night hit -20 F and the high was 7, now at sundown its snowing with some enthusiasm.

    Used to work for an OEM with engineering groups in Atlanta and Across the Bay as well as my suburban Milwaukee. The CA office, every single time, would ask what the weather was like.

    A bolt of lightening in SF gets top story in the evening leaders.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/24/2013 @ 2:58 pm

  123. Some people think a British accent, gives you instant credibility.

    http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2013/12/24/hey-al-qaeda-is-outdoing-the-u-s-on-truthtelling/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/24/2013 @ 3:06 pm

  124. 101, 104, 114. I see Sta. Ana winds are kicking up during a likely record dry spell.

    I’d hold off on them discouraging(for flyovers) words just a bit longer.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/24/2013 @ 3:20 pm

  125. 123. Santa’s got me down for coal but I could get lucky.

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/60064

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/24/2013 @ 3:23 pm

  126. Nailed me. I grew up in Vancouver WA, lived most of my life in E Oregon, mother from E WA. Gave me Portland/Vancouver, Spokane and SLC.

    Comment by Teflon Dad (53f3f7) — 12/24/2013 @ 4:09 pm

  127. My youngest daughter lives in Willmington N.C. and her 3 cities were Boston, Irving and Plano Texas. Wow!

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/24/2013 @ 4:13 pm

  128. They think I’m from Spokane, Boise, or Salt Lake City, because I use “kitty-corner”…
    Actually from N. Calif., and my mother who I got that from grew up in So. Cal and Florida…

    Comment by Ibidem (421256) — 12/24/2013 @ 4:18 pm

  129. Mine put me in Long Beach. Close as I was born/grew up in North Torrance and upper San Pedro (I still live in one of those cities today hence the username). I was with a guy from LB on and off for years. My best friend is from there as well. Interesting.

    Also interesting: it puts my least similar in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. I love Louisiana and it is home away from home for me, so I’m shocked I haven’t picked up more from the state. I’ve also grown up in a family of mostly immigrants and those well-travelled and while I think some of my words are picked up from them meaning I don’t always sound “Californian,” my dialect seems to still be central to California.

    Comment by Ratbeach (477e41) — 12/24/2013 @ 4:21 pm

  130. Born in Oklahoma City, raised in SoCal, Pittsburgh and NJ, and spent 40 years in KY and NC. First pass said I’m from Newark and St. Louis. Second pass nailed it in Oklahoma City, NJ and KY. I think most people have more than one answer and it can throw it off a lot on one answer. Fun party game….

    Comment by nancy armor (e7a8ad) — 12/24/2013 @ 4:56 pm

  131. I tput me in NYC which is weird cos I was born in England but moved to NYC ay the age of 28. 30 years later I have lived in Los Angeles and now AZ. However my intro to Americanisms was the Big Apple but my accent is still very clearly Brit.

    Comment by Gazzer (74e832) — 12/24/2013 @ 5:48 pm

  132. I see Sta. Ana winds are kicking up during a likely record dry spell.

    I’d hold off on them discouraging(for flyovers) words just a bit longer.

    gary gurland, we’ve had some rain/snow, not as much as they say we need, but it’s still early in the “season” (such as it is)for us. I’m not gloating over our weather, just very thankful for it. I know life can change on a dime.

    I have a good friend from Michigan. She loathed the winters with everything in her. She hit 30 and realized, Hey, I dont’ have to stay here. I can leave this frigid nightmare, so she moved to So Cal and never looked back. She does, however, make fun of Californians because all it takes is one rainstorm for the entire So Cal region to practically shut down as Storm Watch 2013! (or whatever the year) pops up on the nightly news and with danger and urgency wafting through the airwaves!

    Comment by Dana (e1b018) — 12/24/2013 @ 5:53 pm

  133. Hubs and I tried this over and over earlier in the week, but the maps wouldn’t display.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 12/24/2013 @ 6:11 pm

  134. #132

    The crazy rich people put the Range Rover in 4WD after .25 inch of rain.

    Comment by steveg (794291) — 12/24/2013 @ 6:17 pm

  135. I grew up 2 hours from Pittsburgh and live in Phila for 25 years. It put me in both places. Pretty interesting.

    Comment by Jenny (187e34) — 12/24/2013 @ 6:53 pm

  136. #119: This, like a few other questions, relies on a bit of ignorance or provincialism. In Los Angeles and most of Southern Cal, all highways are freeways (limited access highways with no signals) so if you differentiate the two it marks your answer down and puts you in Norther Cal.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:08 pm

  137. It missed Better Half’s location by a couple continents. It out her in northern Cali, Reno, and Oregon, places I don’t think she has even even set foot in.

    Comment by JD (5c1832) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:15 pm

  138. I see Sta. Ana winds are kicking up during a likely record dry spell.

    I wonder if people outside SoCal call a hot desert wind a “Santa Ana”, or a santana? The etymology of the “Santa Ana” wind has been in dispute for some time.

    http://www.laalmanac.com/weather/we23.htm

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:17 pm

  139. 138. Other than LAX I know nothing of SoCal:

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/santa-ana-winds-warmth-for-los/21298602

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:32 pm

  140. gary,

    Unlike the Bay Area, it never rains here.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/24/2013 @ 7:44 pm

  141. But when it does, it pours…

    Comment by Gazzer (74e832) — 12/24/2013 @ 8:45 pm

  142. Unlike the Bay Area, it never rains here.

    Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (7f50c5) — 12/24/2013 @ 9:05 pm

  143. Put me in either upstate new York or the bottom of Florida.

    I’m from New Zealand. :-)

    Comment by scrubone (a46c37) — 12/25/2013 @ 1:08 am

  144. It said Fresno, Spokane, or Seattle. I’ve spent my whole life in the triangle of Downey, Duarte, and Camarillo California. My parents did spend time in Seattle for awhile during and after WWII. Never went to Fresno much except to get to Yosemite.

    Comment by Ken in Camarillo (2c0dee) — 12/25/2013 @ 1:46 am

  145. Second time: Santa Rosa, Stockton, and Modesto. Never spent much time around there, but my father worked in accounting a few years at the C&H Sugar facility in Crocket, CA.

    Comment by Ken in Camarillo (2c0dee) — 12/25/2013 @ 2:07 am

  146. Totally off! Said Madison/Milwaukee & Rochester NY – I *was* in the Bronx for a week {married there} but I’ve never even drove through Wisconsin!

    I’ve been from coast to coast {twice on road trips}, growing up I lived in order: Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, Florida, & California.

    In the USN: Florida, Tennessee, California, Cuba, Bermuda, Virginia, and for the last 17 years, Las Vegas, NV.

    Hubby grew up in Pa., and has also lived in Florida, Tennessee, Cuba, Bermuda, Virginia, and Las Vegas, NV.

    Comment by Amy Shulkusky (6c38af) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:09 am

  147. So, yeah, I took the test and it crashed at the end. Again. But then I took it again. “Richmond, Virginia”

    YOU DON’T KNOW ME, TEST!

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 12/25/2013 @ 6:23 am

  148. Apparently “yard sale” was the dead giveaway.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 12/25/2013 @ 6:24 am

  149. It spotted me at Rockford, Aurora (both IL) and Grand Rapids. Not bad, considering I spent my first 2 years in Chicago, 6 near Detroit, back to Chicago and downstate until 21, thence to NorCal for almost 40 before moving to Oregon.

    It worked pretty well at 0 dark 30 this morning. FWIW, the grassy place between the sidewalk was a parkway (both parents grew up in Chicago, though my mother moved there from Dallas at 3). In my life in California, such a grassy space was unknown–sidewalks went to the curb, thence to the gutter and street. Never saw crawfish until I moved to Cali.

    Looks like the questions come from a quasi-random list. It asked the Crayon question last night, but never got to it this AM. Firefox with all scripts on page allowed (I use Noscript).

    Comment by Red County Pete (31d62c) — 12/25/2013 @ 8:17 am

  150. Please assure me that no one ever anywhere says “cran” for crayon.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 12/25/2013 @ 8:35 am

  151. The quiz also placed me in Fort Worth, with elements of Laredo and Corpus Christi. I’m pretty sure that my hometown of Lamesa, Texas, wasn’t one of their possibilities, and although it was closer to Midland/Odessa and Lubbock than to Fort Worth, I’m not unhappy to sound like I’m from there. (Better’n sounding like I’m from Dallas!)

    Comment by Beldar (8ff56a) — 12/25/2013 @ 8:51 am

  152. Wichita?, Kansas City? Des Moines? Don’t think so.

    I’ve lived in several places large and small and ruralish. But never farther than 100 miles from the Windy City or the Big Apple.

    An interesting exercise regardless. It might have been the crawdads that did me in. Or maybe the nameless little gray bugs.

    Comment by elissa (08e46c) — 12/25/2013 @ 9:11 am

  153. 140. I did work in Tijuana and Las Playas a couple of times so had to drive to the San Diego airport a couple of times and drove thru downtown during the day once.

    Got out of the car just to buy gas and then to change flight tickets at the terminal. Beautiful, wondrous climate at Las Playas. I can see why Mexico gets away with the 99 year lease dealio.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 9:20 am

  154. 15. 45. 53. 56. 57. 65. Re: The word ‘sneakers’ as a regionalism.

    aphrael at 57:

    So ‘sneakers’ is the word I learned for those shoes. But I’d forgotten that it was a regionalism…

    me at 65:

    I had no idea there was any other word for it, besides brand names…

    Could it really be a regionalism?
    As opposed maybe to a word that didn’t get around?

    Everybody has got to understand the word “sneaker.”

    Computer people coined the term “sneaker net” meaning transferring data from one computer to another by means of a floppy disk, or some other medium, rather than connecting them electronically, and I am under the impression there were more of them on the west coast than other places.

    So it would seem to be national, or otherwise how could the term “Sneaker Net” be understood??

    Wikipedia has an article about it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneakernet

    The name is a tongue-in-cheek sound-alike to Ethernet[citation needed], and refers to the use of someone wearing sneakers as the transport mechanism for the data.

    (Wikipedia spells it as one word, rather than two, which is strange to me.)

    I was not able to find out who first coined the term. The article only goes into the origins of the idea.

    This web page, http://redwoodtech.org/node/136, dated April 8, 2003, says:

    According to Eric Raymond’s Jargon File in Wired magazine, system administrators coined the term “Sneakernet” more than 15 years ago [= before 1988] to sarcastically describe the physical transfer of electronic information. Rather than relying on the slow, buggy network connections of the nascent Internet, a previous generation of computer users hand carried tape or disks from one machine to another and dubbed it Sneakernet

    What system administrators, and if they were in the Northeast, or somewhere else, it doesn’t say.

    The Jargon File that I located does not explain at all where it originated, but it does say there were some other terms, which I never heard of.

    http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/S/sneakernet.html

    This also does not give the origin:

    http://www.answers.com/topic/sneakernet

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 11:25 am

  155. MD in Philly at 88 12/24/2013 @ 10:54 am

    The quiz must be more elaborate and interactive than it appears. I see people mention questions I didn’t see. It must key off of given answers and then decide what to ask next to discriminate between different specific possibilities.

    Looks like the questions come from a quasi-random list. It asked the Crayon question last night, but never got to it this AM. Firefox with all scripts on page allowed (I use Noscript).

    Red County Pete at 149 12/25/2013 @ 8:17 am

    Looks like the questions come from a quasi-random list. It asked the Crayon question last night, but never got to it this AM.

    And others say the same thing.

    In fact, I checked (I saved almost all my questions yesterday) and I see I never got asked the question about “the large motor vehicles used to carry freight” [that I said was a "truck"] that I quoted at comment #10 from the printed New York Times article of Sunday, December 22, 2013 (Sunday Review page 7.)

    You cannot find these 4 sample questions online – instead you find something else there, and a link to the survey.

    I think I also didn’t get asked the question about what do you call a group of people.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 11:46 am

  156. I think some questions have a very high probability of being asked, and others have less.

    There seem to be 122 in all, but each question does not have an identical 25/122 = 20.49% chance of being asked. I’m sure the yard sale quesiton cme up more than once every five times.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 11:46 am

  157. 83. Comment by CrustyB (5a646c) — 12/24/2013 @ 10:43 am

    It nailed me for Chicago. I think “kitty corner” gave me away.

    I first heard the term in 1984 (and have only very rarely seen it in print since) when we were driving around the old 13th Congressional District in Brooklyn putting up Reagan/Levin signs.

    Everyone who saw them thought they were just Reagan signs.

    One person in the car said something that sounded like “caddy corner” in describing where to put up a sign.

    That wasn’t one of the choices I got (it was multiple choice) and I picked “catty-corner)

    Actually, I usually have no word for this and would use “diagonally across the street.”

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 12:01 pm

  158. 154. Look at the illustrations:

    http://www4.uwm.edu/FLL/linguistics/dialect/staticmaps/q_73.html

    Sneakers is used mostly in the Northeast, but it si also used in Silicon Valley, around Seattle, near Satl Lake City, L.A., Houston, Dallas-Ft.Worth, southern Florida and maybe any place where ther are a lot of people involved with computers. Kansas City, too.

    In fact, altogether, 45.50% said sneakers.

    How could “tennis shoes” win in one than place?

    I think what it’s doing is maybe showing approximately how many people in each general location used that term.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 12:14 pm

  159. I did the survey a second time on a break while the dishwasher was running and at least half the questions were different from the first time as some other commenters have reported. (For all the questions that were the same as before, I answered exactly as I did the first time.) Quite a few of the questions people mention above I haven’t seen at all on either try. Now they have me pegged to Rockford, IL (closer) and Louisville and Lexington KY.

    I think something early must tip them to a general likely spot and the following questions try to narrow it. If they misjudge that first sort then all the rest of the answers are less meaningful.

    Comment by elissa (08e46c) — 12/25/2013 @ 12:17 pm

  160. Sammy Finkleman, you are priceless. Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Dana (e1b018) — 12/25/2013 @ 12:38 pm

  161. This is amazing! My brother and I took it separately and got the exact same results! We both grew up in San Antonio for the most part and our three cities that it identified are Irving, Fort Worth and San Antonio. It probably helps that both of our parents are from Texas.

    Comment by Megan John (014fdb) — 12/25/2013 @ 12:44 pm

  162. What Dana said. This many variables is like a playground for Sammy speculation run amok.

    Comment by JD (ea1128) — 12/25/2013 @ 1:19 pm

  163. I mentioned hubs and I took the test a number of times, on different devices, but the maps never loaded, until today. The test has a limited pool of questions of which each test contains a subset, presented in random order
    Try best two out of three?

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 12/25/2013 @ 1:35 pm

  164. 159. I too had a second go around, this time substituting “drinking fountain” for “bubbler” but keeping “soda” and lost ‘Milwaukee’ picking up ‘Rockford’ and ‘Mpls/StP’.

    I also fiddled with the ‘Aunt’ query but doubt that was a deciding criterion.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 1:43 pm

  165. 158. I wonder if this doesn’t touch on cultural habit as much as dialect.

    In far west suburban Milwaukee we used ‘sneakers’(Converse mainly), ‘tennis shoes’, and ‘gym shoes’, even before the emergence of ‘running shoes’ with the fabulous heel strike cushion.

    Girls would wear tennis shoes, rubberized canvas tops and light duty textured bottoms to gym glass but they were rather flimsy.

    The same went for sneakers which just had canvas tops but good stopping lowers.

    My recollection is ‘Adidas’ were the thing for us jocks, hard rubber lowers with low cut leather tops. Gym shoes.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 2:00 pm

  166. The prettier Dana wrote:

    That’s funny, Kevin M, I didn’t have the “name of drive-through liquor stores” question..

    And that’s why I’m sure it was interactive, basing questions on previous answers in an attempt to narrow things down. Brew Thru, one of the answers, is going to narrow your geographic region to Carolina and Virginia.

    Comment by The Southern Dana (af9ec3) — 12/25/2013 @ 2:16 pm

  167. gg–American dialects and expressions are not only regional which I think may be a large part of the problem with the mapping. For example the Aunt question. I think every ethnicnally Caucasian and Asian person I have ever encountered or heard on TV in the greater Chicago area says “ant (Gloria)”, while every Black person I know or is on TV in the Chicago area pronounces it “Ont (Gloria)”. That’s millions of people saying it two different ways.

    Comment by elissa (08e46c) — 12/25/2013 @ 2:39 pm

  168. 150.Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 12/25/2013 @ 8:35 am

    Please assure me that no one ever anywhere says “cran” for crayon.

    This is a peculiar question.

    Did you ever hear that in your life? If you did,
    then how can you ask “no one anywhere says?”

    It would seem like the most you could say is that “no one ever anywhere says “cran” anymore

    Where did you get that pronunciation “cran” from? A movie? On TV, on the Carol Burnett Show, maybe?

    By the way, “the use of the word “anymore” is in several of the questions. I thnk the questions is, is this correct English to you?:

    54.He used to nap on the couch, but he sprawls out in that new lounge chair anymore

    55.I do exclusively figurative paintings anymore

    56.Pantyhose are so expensive anymore that I just try to get a good suntan and forget about it.

    57.Forget the nice clothes anymore (referring to babies eating messily after a certain age)

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 2:46 pm

  169. Elissa @ 167:

    I think every ethnicnally Caucasian and Asian person I have ever encountered or heard on TV in the greater Chicago area says “ant (Gloria)”, while every Black person I know or is on TV in the Chicago area pronounces it “Ont (Gloria)”. That’s millions of people saying it two different ways.

    That could really be a regionlism. It might come from the south.

    BY the way, there’s a point here some people are missing.

    The survey does not give you where you grew up.

    It gives you where people living in 2013 are most likely to answer a question that way. It is not according to where somebod grew up.

    So some northern words shows up in the south, because blacks have moved back there from the north.

    And some of the answers might show as being connected not to where it originated or was strongest years ago, but to a place which has very little in-migration, even though it might actually be more characteristic of some other place.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 2:52 pm

  170. About crayon – I would say cray-on but that was not one ghe choiches. The closest was cray-ahn.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 2:54 pm

  171. 167. Good point, akin(if not of similar origin) to a distinction in speech made back in my first tour of college by surveyors between “U” and “Non-U” speech.

    Those arising from the bourgeois classes speak Non-U English without affectation, those from the nouveau sophisticate class “U” speech, a more precious version which the speaker is at pains to monitor closely.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:04 pm

  172. Question 82:

    82. What do you call the gooey or dry matter that collects in the corners of your eyes, especially while you are sleeping?

    This is one I’ve beeen trying to remember for years.

    My mother used a word, I think it begins with an S – maybe “Sleepers” – but I am not sure.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:08 pm

  173. Sammy@169–yes, of course, because no Blacks in Chicago are fourth or fifth generation midwesterers and no white or asian people in Chicago have recent southern roots, right? *eyeroll* (That was a rhetorical question, BTW.) If you lived here how would you pronounce “Aunt”, Sam?

    Peace.

    Comment by elissa (08e46c) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:11 pm

  174. If the test started out the same for everyone, and only diverged after a while, then the first question everybody got would be:

    How do you pronounce been?

    with the vowel in sit?

    with the vowel in see?

    with the vowel in set?

    other

    I don’t think this is the case. Is it?

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:11 pm

  175. elissa @173.

    Sammy @169–yes, of course, because no Blacks in Chicago are fourth or fifth generation midwesterers and no white or asian people in Chicago have recent southern roots, right? *eyeroll* (That was a rhetorical question, BTW.)

    It still comes from the south – there’s no other reason for that to be a black version of the word.

    And, important: Chicago is the most extremely segregated city there is, going back maybe to about 1893, it started there earlier than anywhere else, and it’s not natural even though a whole of sociology dealing with “human ecology” was kind of founded around the idea that Chicag was somehow a typical city.

    And so a different pronunciation would persist among blacks, especially since this is a word dealing with a member of a family, that people got used to at a very young age, like 3. Blacks would keep their pronounication, but others, ether people who learned English for the first time, or the second generation would learn the majoroty white pronounciation.

    If you lived here how would you pronounce “Aunt”, Sam?

    It wouldn’t change, it would still be “ant” but the survey would then give it as a Chicago answer, and not New York or anywhere else.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:23 pm

  176. 175. “Chicago is the most extremely segregated city there is”

    I doubt this. Milwaukee is more segregated by my unprofessional sample.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:31 pm

  177. Sam– some people posit that cats are beings sent from an alien planet many millennia ago to spy on earthlings and confound us. Others think that ancient astronauts came from an alien culture in human form to observe, control, and inter-breed with earth’s inhabitants. Do you have any theories about that?

    Comment by elissa (08e46c) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:34 pm

  178. 167. When I mentioned above fiddling with my answer on “Aunt” I chose g).

    I tend to say Aunt Bea(same dipthong as in ‘caught’) but when speaking of aunts generally I use the schwau sound like the other insect.

    NTTIAWWT

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:48 pm

  179. 178. Other than bee, ant that is.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:49 pm

  180. Now that we’ve beaten dialects to death, I’d like to move on to ‘strong verbs’.

    I refuse to my dying day to use for the past tense of ‘plead’ anything else, like ‘pleaded’, that the freaking MFM Nazis are forcing on us.

    Who says “readed” for ‘did read’? No one. So really, what is the prob?

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:55 pm

  181. 178. Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 3:48 pm

    I tend to say Aunt Bea(same dipthong as in ‘caught’) but when speaking of aunts generally I use the schwau sound like the other insect.

    `Caught’ would be like “daughter” or “daunted” or “want”.

    “Ant” like the insect, does not use a schwa. It is pronounced the same as “can’t” or “Grant”

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 4:28 pm

  182. We headed home from SoCal (teh OC) back up north this morning. Must say Christmas doesn’t feel right when it’s in the high 70s, but I don’t have to deal with snow or much ice, so I understand where Snowy Folks are coming from.

    One of my memories of my yute growing up in Anaheim is getting a Schwinn Stingray (w/teh banana seat!) bike for Christmas and it was Santa Ana winds time… wearing our windbreaker jackets like they were sails and riding with the wind down the street at 15 to 20mph without pedaling.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (40f84e) — 12/25/2013 @ 4:30 pm

  183. Verbs, and more:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/25/books/uncharted-by-erez-aiden-and-jean-baptiste-michel.html?adxnnl=1&rref=books&hpw=&adxnnlx=1388017779-zwy13G0RdygcoQTeQV6tUQ

    Their quest is the subject of “Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture,” an entertaining tour of the authors’ big-data adventure, whose implications they wildly oversell.

    To tackle the drived/drove question, Mr. Aiden and Mr. Michel assigned two undergraduates to read every textbook on historical English grammar, compile a list of irregular verbs and follow their fortunes through the centuries. The students turned up 177 irregular verbs in Old English, a number that declined to 145 in Middle English (the language of Chaucer) and to 98 in modern English. Of the original Old English irregulars, the 12 most frequently used verbs stayed irregular, while 11 out of the 12 least frequently used verbs made the changeover. Only “slink” held the line.

    And then they discovered Google Books, and working with Google, devised books.google.com/ngrams

    Here is where you can get the book:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/?tag=patterspontif-20&link_code=wsw&_encoding=UTF-8&search-alias=aps&field-keywords=Erez+Aiden+&Submit.x=9&Submit.y=8

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 4:34 pm

  184. elissa @177 Do you have any theories about that?

    Neither of them makes any sense, and the first one sounds like a joke. The second one sounds like something somebody couldn’t dream up till about 1947.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 4:37 pm

  185. @hat might be agood dialect question, or might have bene once is:

    How do you pronounce Roosevelt?

    Probably nobody under 20 even heard the name out loud. But maybe I am wrong.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 4:39 pm

  186. Mr Gulrud wrote:

    “Chicago is the most extremely segregated city there is” (Mr Finkelman)

    I doubt this. Milwaukee is more segregated by my unprofessional sample.

    You’re both wrong: Wilmington, Delaware is the most segregated, by my experience. Wilmington is heavily black and Hispanic, but go six miles outside the city, to the suburb of Hockessin, where I lived, and if you saw a black person, it was because he was there working or on business, ’cause he sure didn’t live there.

    Comment by The Dana who left Delaware (af9ec3) — 12/25/2013 @ 4:42 pm

  187. 186. Don’t doubt the superlative. Back in the late 60′s Milwaukee in establishing a busing program self-reported as a most segregated community.

    The last I heard the program resulted in a net increase to segregation.

    181. From the wiki on Schwa/Schwau:

    An example in English is the vowel sound in the second syllable of the word sofa.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 5:02 pm

  188. 181. Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 5:02 pm

    From the wiki on Schwa/Schwau:

    An example in English is the vowel sound in the second syllable of the word sofa

    That’s right. And that’s not how I say the vowel in “aunt” or “ant”

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/25/2013 @ 5:37 pm

  189. Getting started on the indigestion;

    http://tiny.cc/36fo8w

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/25/2013 @ 6:08 pm

  190. Henry Higgins, this test is not. He could place a man within 6 miles; in London, within 2, sometimes within two streets.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (7f50c5) — 12/25/2013 @ 6:56 pm

  191. Young Mr. Ryan has said that we have to cut the proposed $7 Billion from vets pensions to supply the necessary weaponry.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-35_Lightning_II

    This thoroughgoing fustercluck is going to cost something north of $300 Billion per copy and the program $1.5 Trillion over its lifetime.

    The plane “can’t climb, can’t turn, and can’t run”, uses all its onboard fuel to reach top speed of Mach 1.6, takes 43 seconds longer to jump from Mach 0.8 to 1.2 than the F-16 on one engine rather than 2, has a maximum range of just 500 miles, is years late in delivery,…

    You know Paulie, I think I can find you $7 Billion, today.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 10:05 pm

  192. “$300 Million per copy”, Doh.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/25/2013 @ 10:06 pm

  193. 190. Comment by Chuck Bartowski (7f50c5) — 12/25/2013 @ 6:56 pm

    Henry Higgins, this test is not. He could place a man within 6 miles; in London, within 2, sometimes within two streets.

    In England around 1912, everybody spoke differently – and nobody spoke right. The correct, or old, pronunciation of English was preserved only in America.

    Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, Dryden and Alexander Pope probably didn’t sound at all like the British sound today.

    Henry Higgins was fiction, but there was somebody a little like him. Actually several people, but the closest was Henry Sweet.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/26/2013 @ 8:30 am

  194. One thing to remember: Henry Higgins could place people according to where tghey came from, but this test places people according to where they ended up in 2013.

    Now take two places. Maybe somebody’s speech is or was more typical of one place, and the other is abit different, but one place has had a lot of population growth, or in-migration, and the other has not – it’ll link someone to the place that hasn’t changed, usually a smaller place.

    Also this test is obviously too affected by one or two or three questions.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/26/2013 @ 8:32 am

  195. gary gulrud @ 191. Paul Ryan doesn’t realize that the plane has the same problem as healthcare.gov, and the problem is with government contracting, which gets very bad when it comes to projects that last years with very few competitors. It’s true in many states too, where the same procedures are used.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/26/2013 @ 8:35 am

  196. Well they did have a similar problem with the F-18 back in the day, but they’ve cut back F-22 production, so Houston we have a problem,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/26/2013 @ 8:49 am

  197. Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/26/2013 @ 8:30 am

    It was a joke, Sammy. Lighten up a little bit.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (11fb31) — 12/26/2013 @ 10:19 am

  198. 196. Based on my wiki studies last night, the Russky and Chinese Raptor knock-offs are not close to deployment.

    That’s good ’cause the Raptor is USAF only, we gots just 182 of them and they seem too capable for human piloting.

    The F-22 evidently appears to onboard Radars as a steel ball bearing would, the F-35, of which 2500 are planned, like a beach ball.

    Whereas the F-22 routinely simulates 200:0 kills, the F-35 struggles to get 6:1, usually worse.

    Progress.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/26/2013 @ 10:52 am

  199. “One thing to remember: Henry Higgins could place people according to where tghey came from, but this test places people according to where they ended up in 2013.”

    Sammy – I disagree with your conclusion. This test places people based upon the way they currently speak. That can be an amalgam of where they grew up, where they lived over time and where they currently reside. The influence of where the ended up in 2013 may or may not have the strongest influence over their dialect.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/26/2013 @ 10:53 am

  200. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/26/2013 @ 10:53 am

    The influence of where they ended up in 2013 may or may not have the strongest influence over their dialect.

    That’s my point.

    The database is based on how people answered the questions in a survey taken concluded in the spring of 2013 2003.

    This is a new, current survey, being done:

    http://www.tekstlab.uio.no/cambridge_survey/

    Here, they seem to be interested in where you were raised:

    http://www.tekstlab.uio.no/cambridge_survey/user/register

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/26/2013 @ 11:06 am

  201. One thing to remember: Henry Higgins could place people according to where tghey came from, but this test places people according to where they ended up in 2013.

    That’s not true at all. Higgins was able to tell every place where Pickering had lived, by their influences on his manner of speaking.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (11fb31) — 12/26/2013 @ 11:15 am

  202. Back when I was a disk jockey (60′s and 70′s) this was a popular game, guess where the DJ was from (we were all young college people.) We had some academic experts who would come by from the speech department and play with the new folk. They used a short page, about two hundred words, that the subject would read aloud. We’d tape it before hand, they’d have the tapes for a week to study.

    What they said about me: Learned to speak in rural western Montana, probably near Billings. Not Idaho, no Basque flavor. Some eastern Montana and Wyoming. Brown County, SD (Aberdeen, the county seat) was the real center of my speech. Parents were Minnesotan, with east coast and Texas influences (their military service.)

    Brian and I must have done this to close to fifty people. Only time I remember them being wrong was they put someone in the Florida panhandle who was from Mobile, Alabama. Her parents were from Tallahassee.

    It was spooky. “Someone in your family, or neary family, spoke French | German | British | pick-a-language frequently.” This is a bit like doing a cold reading, but there was never even a hint of hesitation to think: Grandfather. Aunt. Babysitter. BFF’s grandparents. People who didn’t know language X, knew to correct the incorrect saying of childhood phrases in X: Drink your milk. Wash your hands. Go to sleep.

    Comment by htom (412a17) — 12/26/2013 @ 11:24 am

  203. “That’s my point.”

    Sammy – If that was your point, why didn’t you say it that way instead of saying the purpose was to measure where you wound up at the end of 2013.

    It doesn’t do you much good to claim you point is something other than the plain English you write, Sammy.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/26/2013 @ 11:34 am

  204. your not you

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/26/2013 @ 11:34 am

  205. Daleyrocks at 203: Sammy – If that was your point, why didn’t you say it that way instead of saying the purpose was to measure where you wound up at the end of 2013.

    No, I think the puropose was to say what places had what dialects, but I think – and now I am not certain because I don’t know the details of that survey – that they asked people where they were living now.

    I thought that survey that was the basis of the test questions was done in 2013, but it looks like it was done after 1999 and ended in 2003.

    Now there’s a new one being done by other people.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/26/2013 @ 11:48 am

  206. 202. Comment by htom (412a17) — 12/26/2013 @ 11:24 am

    Only time I remember them being wrong was they put someone in the Florida panhandle who was from Mobile, Alabama. Her parents were from Tallahassee.

    Mobile, Alabama is just west of the Florida panhandle. It’s just across the state line.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/26/2013 @ 11:51 am

  207. Aren’t you happy you decided to enter the nuthouse, daleyrocks?

    Comment by elissa (08e46c) — 12/26/2013 @ 12:14 pm

  208. Re: Sneakers

    The word sneakers also appears in this famous song by Taylor Swift, which you almost couldn’t avoid hearing for a while:

    http://www.metrolyrics.com/you-belong-to-me-lyrics-taylor-swift.html

    She wears high heels, I wear sneakers

    I researched the question: Where was Taylor Swift born?

    It turns out that while she moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 14, (with her parents, but maybe her fatehr transferred there at her request) she was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and moved to Wyomissing, Pennsylvania at the age of nine.

    Reading, Pennsylvania is near Philadelphia, and Wyomissing is just west of that.

    Both of them are in the “sneaker” area.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/26/2013 @ 12:47 pm

  209. “Aren’t you happy you decided to enter the nuthouse, daleyrocks?”

    elissa – I stayed out in the spirit of Christmas. Then when I see another completely nonsense claim by Sam the Sham I couldn’t hold back.

    Now I see that we are back to the full 360 degrees of Sammy and “all your points are belong to me.”

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 12/26/2013 @ 12:53 pm

  210. 71. SF: what do you call a strip of grass between between the sidewalk and the street?

    gramps, the original at 93: Sammy: that grass area between the sidewalk and curb is a parking strip, some come equipped with a tree.

    I would call it a “strip of grass.

    The city tore up all of that around a park some time ago, but they left dirt/grass where it surrounded a tree.

    This was the longest stretch of strip that they left.

    There was a tree there, but I think we must have lost that tree because of Hurricane Sandy. You can still see the stump.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/26/2013 @ 1:16 pm

  211. It was a joke, Sammy. Lighten up a little bit.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

    Somewhere, teh wind whistles through a canyon…

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (4e91b0) — 12/26/2013 @ 1:54 pm

  212. “She wears high heels, I wear high-heel sneakers and an alligator hat.”

    FIFY Sammy…

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (0a0a46) — 12/26/2013 @ 1:59 pm

  213. If you look carefully at this illustration:

    http://www4.uwm.edu/FLL/linguistics/dialect/staticmaps/q_73.html

    …it looks like they also say “snekers” in some places in Tennessee – coud be Nashville. It is hard tom tell in this map.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/26/2013 @ 2:54 pm

  214. Sammy- What three planets were you between?

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/26/2013 @ 4:40 pm

  215. The whole country says “sneakers”, Sammy. And most of those other words in the test, too. Few are purely regional. It’s just which word has the largest usage. So in Rochester you’ll find (just an example for the sake of argument, I’m making up the numbers), 40% of the people say sneakers 40% of the time, and the same people say gym shoes 30% of the times, running shoes 20% of the time, and tennis shoes 10% of the time. Do you see what I’m getting at? The lexicographers then ask “what’s the mostest from the mostest?”, and then second most, and third most, and so forth, and rank the usage. I used to know how to graph this, way back when.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/26/2013 @ 5:06 pm

  216. @215– You will regret this post, nk. In the immortal words of George Zimmer–”I guarantee it.”

    Comment by elissa (d5c850) — 12/26/2013 @ 6:08 pm

  217. nk @ 215. @ 5:06 pm

    The whole country says “sneakers”, Sammy.

    I thought so, too, as you can see by what I said at 15. But at 57 aphrael said on 12/24/2013 @ 8:46 am:

    I lived in NJ until I was 7. So ‘sneakers’ is the word I learned for those shoes. But I’d forgotten that it was a regionalism, and so had spent years confused about where i’d learned the word, until I saw a dialect map keying on that word.

    Now, I’ve been puzzling over if it is really a regionalism.

    If so, how could somebody say “sneaker net?” and be universally understood? And what about the Taylor Swift song? (although it turns out, she’s originally from eastern Pennsylvania.)

    Few are purely regional. It’s just which word has the largest usage. So in Rochester you’ll find (just an example for the sake of argument, I’m making up the numbers), 40% of the people say sneakers 40% of the time, and the same people say gym shoes 30% of the times, running shoes 20% of the time, and tennis shoes 10% of the time.

    But every person gets only one choice. I’d say rather this: People use both words.

    And furthermore, I would think that people might use one word – that’s the question, what word do you use? – but know and understand alternatives.

    And even further, they might use different words for different shoes, and the answer might depend upon which ones you are thinking about when you get the question.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/26/2013 @ 6:41 pm

  218. I guarantee it.

    Comment by elissa (d5c850) — 12/26/2013 @ 6:45 pm

  219. Didn’t close the bold.

    While giving more than one word is sometimes a answer choice, this might not have happened with this question, (when it went through preliminary testing) because most people would wind up giving just one answer, without feeling a need to volunteer that there was more than one word.

    The thing they were trying to avoid was people answering with a brand name.

    You mentioned at 56 that “running shoes” for sneakers was originally a joke/mild insult in 1971 (and not a real name for them)

    It the answer given by 1.42% in the survey.

    gary gulrud at 165 mentions a couple of different words used in far west suburban Milwaukee, usually different shoes by different people.

    Jocks wore Adidas “gym shoes”, girls wore “tennis shoes” and sneakers (Converse mainly) were something different.

    It’s easy to see that with the sneakers question:

    What is your *general* term for the rubber-soled shoes worn in gym class, for athletic activities, etc.?

    people could be talking about different things.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/26/2013 @ 6:49 pm

  220. Do you see what I’m getting at? The lexicographers then ask “what’s the mostest from the mostest?”, and then second most, and third most, and so forth, and rank the usage. I used to know how to graph this, way back when.

    It’s not that. It asks what word people use. Of course a person might understand other words, too.

    More important, a person might answer with one particular situation in mind, but use the word “sneakers,” and certainly know it, in some other situations.

    Bottom line: aphrael at 57 is not right that it is a regionalism. But why was he confused about where he learned the word?

    Maybe, there are different boundaries between the use of “sneakers” and other words in different places.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/26/2013 @ 6:54 pm

  221. MD in Philly at 84 on 12/24/2013 @ 10:44 am

    gym shoes>tennis shoe>sneakers.

    I’m not clear here what you are trying to say.

    Gym shoes are greater (a more inclusive word?) than tennis shoes, which in turn are inclusive of sneakers? Shouldn’t it be the other way around, with sneakers being the most general term?

    Or is it: The word first was “gym shoes” which became “tennis shoes” which became
    “sneakers”? At least around Philadelphia.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/26/2013 @ 7:02 pm

  222. It’s ok, elissa. I’m watching Futurama and planning the proportions of Christmas dinner leftovers that I’ll have for supper. See what I did there?

    Oven-roasted lemon-oregano chicken and potatoes, braised beef with lemon (what else?), and spinach-cheese strudel puffs, BTW.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/26/2013 @ 7:07 pm

  223. I’ll see your delicious sounding leftovers and raise you my leftover brussel sprouts in dijon cream sauce, garlic green beans and rare beef tenderloin that I’m parceling out and serving for lunch tomorrow.

    Comment by elissa (d5c850) — 12/26/2013 @ 7:13 pm

  224. We stayed more or less Greek with the exception of an arugula/tomato salad with capers and shaved parmesan and just plain olive oil, that my daughter’s mother made. The arugula could have been better, kind of wilted. We started laughing as she was picking out the better leaves, “Obama was right, it’s hard to find decent arugula these days”.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/26/2013 @ 7:28 pm

  225. nk- Arugula can be found fresh in my hot house everyday.
    Easy to grow with the proper soil mix. Old wookie needs a gardner not a womanizer.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/27/2013 @ 12:25 am

  226. http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/367112/whos-excited-about-starting-2014-5000-deductible-jim-geraghty

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/27/2013 @ 7:02 am

  227. Capt Tupolev’s x.o., says hi;

    http://www.nbcnews.com/health/think-2013-was-bad-year-health-politics-just-wait-2014-2D11778757?ocid=msnhp&pos=1

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/27/2013 @ 7:22 am

  228. So I took the test . . . and it nailed me, down to the exact city in which I was born and raised.

    Racists.

    Comment by Icy (39c757) — 12/27/2013 @ 8:40 am

  229. 226. We will not exhaust kiddo’s deductible this year let alone mine.

    Moreover, we have to spread my–normal and expected for a man of a certain age–dental work out over a decade. Clearly unsustainable.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/27/2013 @ 9:59 am

  230. 227. “With time, I’m sure they’ll get it right.”

    Sad that English conveys no roll of the eyes, no /sarc off.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/27/2013 @ 10:03 am

  231. 227. 230.

    2014?? Just wait till 2015! Seizure of income tax refunds. Medicaid clawbacks. Obamacare death spiral.

    People reducing their income and consumer spending.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/27/2013 @ 10:11 am

  232. So the Chamber of Commerce is pledging $50 M large in the fight against the TEAs.

    While that may seem pedestrian for political campaigning, as the largest lobbying footprint in DC, $136 Million, they only spent $32 Million in 2010 supporting their candidates.

    As corpulent Karl appears to be down 60% in fundraising, the DIABLOs need the scratch.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/27/2013 @ 10:29 am

  233. They do seem to doubling down, but as Leonidas said ‘we will fight in the shade’

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/27/2013 @ 10:41 am

  234. I’ve been meaning to say this: It was 71 degrees in New York City on Sunday – broke a record by almost 10 degrees. (Upstate had snowstorms. The boundary of the jet stream was somewhere in New York.)

    It got colder the next day – maybe in the 50s and really cold, down to the 20s later in teh week, but may warm up a bit now.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/27/2013 @ 10:51 am

  235. Ok, that’s one way to do it;

    http://therightscoop.com/federal-judge-dismisses-nsa-data-collection-case-ruling-it-is-legal/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/27/2013 @ 11:05 am

  236. I wonder if Obamacare premiums are responsible for a slight drop in cousumer spending this December?

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/27/2013 @ 11:20 am

  237. 234. Today in Central MN its sunny and warm enough to melt a trace of snow and ice on concrete.

    Sunday thru Tuesday nights its back to reality pushing -20 F.

    236. Continuing a five year trend, consumer disposable income is down 3% on the year. Not so rents, beef, milk, bread, electricity,…

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/27/2013 @ 11:43 am

  238. New unemployment claims seem down, the unemployment rate is steady, but the employment rate is lower.

    I have 2 or 3 stories about Obamacare I saw today in the New York Times and the wall Street Journal, but I am not sure where to link them.

    People working for Vista are suddenly told that their health care plan is not acceptable under Obamacare. But it’s not being cancelled, so they will have to pay a fine next year (they are ot actually employees)

    Two states Massachusetts and Vermont may seek refunds or refuse to pay health care website contracters.

    Republicans undecided what to do next. Lindsay Graham and others say they can’t just criticize, they have got to have some ideas what to do.

    Wall Street Journal column by Mark Siegel about end of bedside manner.

    Unfortunately, the kind of insurance that is growing under Obamacare’s fertlizer is the exact kind that was jeopardizing the quality of health care in the first place: the kind that pays for seeing a doctor when you are well, but where guidelines and regulations predominate and choice is resricted when you are seriously ill.

    Hear, hear. Of course, Obama thinks you need more choice before – “prevention” you know. It’s going 180 degreess in he wrong direction.

    There’s also a story about New York State’s population shortly to be less than that of Florida, although New York City actually gained.

    Mayor Bloomberg boasts both crime and incarceration are down.

    The peace plan in South Sudan is utterly falling apart.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (117043) — 12/27/2013 @ 1:13 pm

  239. Gary 237. We need to invade Canada, dig it all up, and pile the rocks and dirt into a 6-mile high mountain range where Alberta is. Someday, someday.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/27/2013 @ 2:44 pm

  240. Tortugas todo para abajo ‘turtles all the way down;

    http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2013/12/27/many-spanish-speakers-left-behind-in-first-wave-of-obamacare/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/27/2013 @ 5:39 pm

  241. what’s the name of that creature that chases it’s tail;

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12/27/four-us-military-personnel-being-held-by-libyan-government/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/27/2013 @ 6:52 pm

  242. 239. With those Chinooks it will be shirtsleeve weather all the time in Calgary.

    Alberta would make a fine anchor of a new nation.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/27/2013 @ 8:21 pm

  243. 241. Meanwhile, our former ally, one of Israel’s few remaining friends, is developing stealth Raptors with the Russkies and is hopping mad over the arrest and cavity search of one of her diplomats.

    And the Saudis and Egyptians are not happy either.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/27/2013 @ 8:28 pm

  244. ‘the future’s so bright, you got to wear shades, gary, to avoid the flash of blinding light,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/27/2013 @ 8:36 pm

  245. 244. I’ll put the welder’s helmet and the respirators in the ‘Bug Out’ bag.

    Fortunately I’m well outside the expected fallout drift lanes. The bunker busters carried by F-15′s are 3 to 300 kilotons.

    No way this remains a limited theatre.

    ‘Course a welder’s helmet will be useless when the seventh seal opens.

    Comment by gary gulrud (e2cef3) — 12/27/2013 @ 11:16 pm

  246. Mayor Bloomberg boasts both crime and incarceration are down.

    But there are peculiar undercurrents roiling the culture of not just his city but that of the culture throughout America in general.

    I wonder what was the dialect of probably just about all the teenagers involved in the following melee?

    nypost.com, December 27, via drudgereport.com: Hundreds of teenagers stormed and trashed a Brooklyn mall in a wild flash mob that forced the shopping center to close its doors during day-after Christmas sales, sources said on Friday. More than 400 crazed teens grabbed and smashed jars of candy, stole cheap items such as baby balloons and beat up security guards at Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Mill Basin between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., merchants said.

    A violent game of “Knockout” also broke out on the upper level of the mall — and one teen may have been carrying a gun, sources said. The teens used social media to plan the mass looting, vowing to put the mall “on tilt” – or to raid it, according to posts on Facebook and Twitter.

    Clerks at shops such as Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret and Mac quickly rolled down metal gates as security guards tried desperately to break up the mob. The mall was closed for roughly an hour around 7 p.m., sources said. Violent fights also broke out in front of McDonald’s and Best Buy, sources said. Video footage shows a pack of teenage girls punching each other and screaming as security guards struggled to break up the brawl.

    Other teens were even more violent, sources said.

    “You know they were playing the knockout game yesterday,” said perfume merchant Shante, 21, referencing a game in which teens try to knock each other out with a single punch.

    No arrests were made.

    ^ A major columnist for the LA Times claimed recently, in so many words, that the “knockout game” is a figment of certain people’s imagination, primarily those who have a political agenda. But, of course, not the one she touts and embraces.

    Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 12/28/2013 @ 4:00 am

  247. I wonder if Obamacare premiums are responsible for a slight drop in cousumer spending this December?
    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 12/27/2013 @ 11:20 am

    – By George, I think he’s got it!

    Comment by Icy (d30d7f) — 12/28/2013 @ 8:08 am

  248. According to the quiz I’m from San Jose, California.

    If you don’t know the terms for grass that grows in the middle of the street, then you’re not form the midwesternish part of the country. Apparently.

    Comment by lee (807b40) — 12/28/2013 @ 12:28 pm

  249. Wow this got me perfectly in Jackson,MS. I was surprised people call tennis shoes, sneakers like what?? And the devil’s beating his wife is often used where I am from. I was also surprised at how few people call fizzy drinks cokes. Every fizzy drink is a coke and then you get specific.

    Comment by Sarah (b53864) — 1/8/2014 @ 7:30 pm

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