Talking about how we talk …

… and where we came from …

… I ran across this intriguing website today …

… the North Carolina State University Dialect Survey Maps

… the self-description of which says, “Dialect maps by Joshua Katz based on data from the Harvard Dialect Survey conducted by Bert Vaux, Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge.

The site contains a quiz which you can take to see what how you talk … your dialect … says about where you live … or came from …

… the quiz is here … …

… and can be taken in about ten minutes.

I took it today … and found that how I talk really does say a lot about where I came from …

… as shown in the correlation map produced by my responses to the test questions:



Apparently, at least in my case, where I grew up had a much greater impact on how I talk than where I have lived for the 46 years since I graduated from college …

… and moved away from New York.

As you can see in the map, my “most similar” range of dialect locations is a very narrow band of locations in New York and New Jersey

… and the four “most similar cities” are within a relatively short distance of where I spent most of my childhood …

… in Lindenhurst, New York, on Long Island.


And, somewhat oddly, my “less similar” range of dialect locations covers all of California


… where I have lived since 1969!


For the website of Joshua Katz, which contains a lot of information about regional dialects and his “Beyond ‘Soda, Pop or Coke'”, see:


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