Patterico's Pontifications


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!

Tom Friedman: I Don’t Keep Scorecards . . . For Democrats, That Is

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:23 am

Watch New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman on Howard Kurtz’s show. The hypocrisy I want to highlight is at 5:44:

KURTZ: I’m surprised you haven’t written a column saying what a disappointing year he’s had, and perhaps, expressing any frustration.

FRIEDMAN: You know, I tend to take the long view. I really don’t, you know, I mean, I’ve seen —

KURTZ: But does the country have that benefit?

FRIEDMAN: Well, whether we have the benefit or not, we’re gonna have to [crosstalk]

KURTZ: You’re saying that even if Obama — I don’t think even his fiercest defenders would dispute this — he’s had a lousy year, in terms of not getting bills through Congress, in terms of the health care debacle — that you are trying to look beyond that?

FRIEDMAN: Yeah, I’m not a big scorecard guy, I mean, generally, so, you know . . .

Yeah, Thomas Friedman is not a guy who keeps a scorecard.

For Democrats, that is.

For Republicans? You betcha!

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 10.23.51 PM

No scorecards here!

I was in a restaurant at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on Sunday, and it had an NCAA basketball game playing on the TV at one end of the bar and the Iraq war on the other. Most people were watching the basketball game — probably because it’s so much easier to keep score. How will we know if we are winning in Iraq?

[Blather follows]

If you see these things happening, you’ll know that the political ends for which this war was launched are being achieved. If you don’t, you’ll know we’re lost in a sandstorm.

Now, I’m not a big scorecard guy, generally, heh heh, you know.

But . . .

The scorecard here is easily read: My anonymous tipster: 1, Friedman: 0.

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