How Y all, Youse and You Guys Talk

IN this season of travel, the homeward bound may cross linguistic boundaries as often as state lines. There are no boosterish highway signs to announce your entry into Sneaker Nation, or to mark your passage from the land of "Y'all" to the land of "You guys" (after a quick break for lunch in the tiny principality of "Yinz").

But there are maps of these places. With data from more than 350,000 responses to 140 language- and pronunciation-related
questions, the contours of American speech emerge. Below are four examples, showing where tennis shoes become gym shoes and semis are overtaken by 18-wheelers.

Now you can make your own map by completing a 25-item questionnaire online. The dialect quiz can tell if you've retained the speech patterns of your birthplace or if they've been replaced by phrasing or pronunciation from other places — or some mixture of the two. It will also list some of your linguistic opposites. It's a big country, after all, and a talkative one.
To take the 25-question dialect quiz, go to nytimes.com/opinion.

MAP LEGEND Darker areas indicate where a term is more dominant; lighter, less so.

Josh Katz is a graphics editor at The New York Times who developed the online dialect quiz that is the basis for these maps.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES
JOSH KATZ
12.25.13