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Look How’s Talking [Sic]

January 3rd, 2014 - 6:33 am

DIALECT MAP

I might have left the midwest a quarter century ago, but the dialect lingers on — according to this test I just took from the New York Times.

How far from home are you, and how sticky has your dialect turned out to be?

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All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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Nailed me within 25 miles.

Dialects have been an interest to me for 30+ years, so I get some of this.

The longer you spent in one location during your formative years, the more “sticky” your terms will be.

If you grew up in a large, diverse metropolitan area, you will be much harder to nail down. Same if you grew up in a rural area that’s had transient populations over the years.

But what strikes me about this is, if the NYT can dial in on someone like me with just 25 words, how good must the NSA be when they have access to thousands of conversations?

Assuming, of course, The NYT and NSA aren’t different branches of the same organization.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nailed my home town, Springfield Ma., not a very big town to peg from a few words or phrases. Pretty cool.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I got Denver, Aurora, and Wichita. (Seriously, how is the Aurora dialect different from Denver? They're pretty much the same place.) I grew up pretty much in the void between those three places.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
It nailed me pretty good. Either San Antonio, Irving or Lubbock. I've spent 90% of my life within about 60 miles of San Antonio.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
B'mor, Cincinnati and Tuscon??????

Borned and raised in Detroit!
But the accent was artificially modified by a military career and a combination of training and living in SoCal ,TX, NorCal and VA. Trained as a classroom instructor by the USMC and USA. And as a German language interpreter by USA. All adds up to a mixed up accent.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The test claimed I was from somewhere in NW Texas. Close but no cigar. I grew up in Houston and have been living in SoCal for a good 20yrs now.

'Nother test I took pegged it. I was either from Houston or some obscure county in Michigan.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've entirely flummoxed it to something either in California, or south Florida, or the midwest, or new england.

Military Brat FTW.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
My results were spread out a bit too, but sort of correct. My parents were from Western PA, but I lived most of my life in the Midwest, so it's a mix of the two.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not a military brat, but my family moved every 4 years, I confused it as well.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nailed it completely, placed me within a few miles of where I was born, raised, and now again live. That probably has more to do with the distinctive nature of the speech patterns and cultural cues of Amish Appalachia than the generalized ability of these tests to locate speech patterns.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not so accurate for me; the "test" said my closest match was North Carolina. I'm a military brat and then joined the Navy myself, so I've lived all over - but never in North Carolina. And I've been in Northern California for 30 years now.

But I'm pretty much a linguistic chameleon; I pick up accents quickly.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Same here, guys. I grew up in Montana but spent 27 years in Europe thereby acquiring a lot of Britisms among other things. This gave me red spots at Santa Fe and Oakland. Not impressed.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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