(Joshua Katz, NC State University)
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Maps Chart Speech Patterns Across America

This explains why our bubbes call it ‘Fla-rida,’ just like we do

Stephanie Butnick
June 05, 2013
(Joshua Katz, NC State University)

Today in fun charts: Joshua Katz, a statistics PhD student at N.C. State University put together a series of maps of the United States which reveal the staggering extent to which where we live in influences how we say what we say. Basically, why New Yaw-kers speak differently than, say, Texans. In addition to illustrating the geographic coordinates of the sub/hoagie and soda/pop debates, Katz’s cartographical endeavor plots contentious pronunciation from coast to coast: caramel (where more vowels get dropped the further west you go), crayon (all over the board, literally), and mayonnaise (which I prefer to simply avoid both in speech and practice).

The map for y’all—which is apparently the “deepest and most obvious linguistic divide in America”—also reveals what anyone whose grandparents relocated to Boca already knows: that “everyone in south Florida pronounces things in the northern U.S. style.”

Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.