US Dialect Quiz
Posted: 24 December 2013 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]
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If you haven’t seen it already, this quiz was in on the NY Times website on Sunday.

It pretty accurately pegged me from New Jersey.

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Posted: 24 December 2013 05:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Curses! I was just about to start when I was politely told I’d done enough freeloading for this month (10 articles). Yes, I know I’m an Englishman but I was just curious to see in which US region it would place me, thereby giving some (completely non-scientific) indication which American English dialect most resembled my own (South England).

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Posted: 24 December 2013 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It puts me in Sacramento and Salt Lake City. I guess we’re schizophrenic.

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Posted: 24 December 2013 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Nails me pretty well. Aurora/Rockford Illinois. Actually grew up outside of Chicago.

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Posted: 24 December 2013 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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aldiboronti - 24 December 2013 05:30 AM

Curses! I was just about to start when I was politely told I’d done enough freeloading for this month (10 articles). Yes, I know I’m an Englishman but I was just curious to see in which US region it would place me, thereby giving some (completely non-scientific) indication which American English dialect most resembled my own (South England).

I’d love to see how you do! There is a question about what “I” call “Roundabouts” (circle where three roads converge) but they are fairly new here (at least where I’m from). I’d love to know what you call them.

Then there are things like the plural “you” and the like. I could send them to you but you would need their algorythm!

Maybe at the end of the month/year, you can revisit that site, Aldi!

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Posted: 24 December 2013 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Dave Wilton - 24 December 2013 04:31 AM


It pretty accurately pegged me from New Jersey.

Me, too.  It said Mischief Night was the “most specific” thing that gave me away as a Jersey boy.

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Posted: 24 December 2013 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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ROFL @ yinzstergram

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Posted: 24 December 2013 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It couldn’t have been more accurate if they had simply asked me to stick a pin into my hometown, right in the middle of New York State.

Edit: sneakers

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Posted: 25 December 2013 12:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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It gave me (a Londoner) New York, New Jersey, Providence, and the state of Minnesota.

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Posted: 26 December 2013 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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100% accurate for me, though I may have cheated a bit.  I thought about the words I used for things growing up, as opposed to what I tend to use now.  I think what pegged me as being from the Springfield, Missouri area is the use of “crawdad”.

Thanks for sharing that, Dave.

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Posted: 26 December 2013 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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It placed me in Southern/Northern California, and gave me a yellow/orange for Washington and Oregon, which makes sense, since I grew up in California and later moved to, and still live in, Washington state (my family and I moved there when I was 16).  I answered all of the questions based on my current usage (although, in some cases, none of the possible answers was completely correct.)

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Posted: 31 December 2013 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’m an honorary New Yorker.

I was very surprised to learn that lorry and jumble sale made it across the Atlantic. Also roundabout and traffic circus. The latter is obsolete in the UK though it survives largely through John le Carre’s early spy novels where MI5 HQ is called the Circus (which no one knew about in the fictional or real world though we now do) from its location off Cambridge Circus in London, a sort of roundabout surrounded by old buildings, I believe. They moved to the south bank of the Thames where Javier Bardem set off a bomb in Skyfall.

Le Carre was a real spy, fluent in German, till the traitor George Blake blew his and many others’ cover. He certainly enriched our espionage slang through his novels as a result. Tradecraft, George. The end of the Cold War hasn’t slowed him down at all but still no knighthood, I wonder why.

I remember Bill Bryson mentioning traffic circus or an even more convoluted variation in Mother Tongue if anyone has a copy to hand.

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Posted: 31 December 2013 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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They got me right, for the most part: Santa Rosa/Stockton/Modesto. Actually my linguistic influences are Marin/Stockton. So pretty close. However, some of their answers are nonsensical. If “sow bug” comes up with the entire United States as blue, i.e. “least similar,” why bother asking the question? Secondly, if that’s what I and most people I knew as a kid (in san Diego and Northern California) called it and probably still call it, how does that fit?

In fact, growing up in California was a test of one’s linguistic tolerances, as you’d hear pill bug and sow bug, trousers and pants, press and iron, baseball mitt and baseball glove etc. for the same thing and have to decide which to use. Normally this would be according to what family members said.

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Posted: 08 January 2014 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Just for fun (and out of curiosity), I took the quiz. There were a few questions I couldn’t answer accurately, which may influence the result. The overall map was fairly blotchy but with Hawaii solid red, a definite peak along the California coast and a lesser peak straddling the Minnesota/Wisconsin border. There was a pronounced low point on New York City with a less pronounced blue spreading to adjacent areas of NY state and Connecticut.

In summary, the quiz gave firefly as the most distinctive word, placing me in Los Angeles, Anaheim or Honolulu.

Meaningless but fun!

(For the record I’m a 50-something English-educated Scot.)

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