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cornflake
12-27-2013, 10:25 AM
The NYTimes has an interactive dialect quiz up here (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/20/sunday-review/dialect-quiz-map.html)- it's a bunch of questions, there's a map showing how you match the rest of the country after each question and at the end, it guesses three places it thinks you're from.

It nailed me exactly with its top guess.

ZachJPayne
12-27-2013, 10:32 AM
Very close. The top city was in the Los Angeles Metro area, which is where I'm from -- even if it wasn't the right city. An interesting quiz, for sure!

MaryMumsy
12-27-2013, 10:43 AM
None of the three were even close. But that's probably because I grew up hither and yon in the AF.

Montgomery AL
Columbus GA
Mobile AL

Montgomery is the only one I ever lived in, and that was for like six months when I was 4.

MM

meowzbark
12-27-2013, 11:08 AM
My home town was dead center between the three choices they offered. I suppose that our dialect is fairly distinct. ;)

The big one was "mischief night", which apparently is used only by those living in the Baltimore/Washington area.

chompers
12-27-2013, 11:24 AM
Kinda off for me, but they were all in the South, which is my predominant dialect I guess.

Williebee
12-27-2013, 11:48 AM
I'm with Mary. It wasn't even close.

ZachJPayne
12-27-2013, 12:00 PM
A shame that it's not working well for some of you. I wonder if some extrapolation of this data could be used for helping write characters' dialects. God knows that's one of the things I worry about :D

mccardey
12-27-2013, 12:14 PM
New York, Jersey City or Yonkers for me. (What's a yonker??).

Which is bad, of course, because - yanno - Sydney, Australia.

Chris P
12-27-2013, 12:15 PM
It did really well for me: Omaha NE, Des Moines IA, and Rockford, Ill. I lived within an hour of Des Moines until I was 30 years old, minus a couple years for college in northern Wisconsin. I recognized a lot of words from my years in Mississippi, but I didn't really adopt them. I didn't see any Uganglish words on that quiz, though!

Regarding Halloween, when I was a kid we talked about "Beggar's Night," which wasn't one of the options. Did anyone else ever do May Baskets on May Day? I wonder if it was a central Iowa thing, and if so what its origins are.

ZachJPayne: For dialect, I highly recommend making use of Couchsurfing.org, which can link you to people all over the world who might be willing to provide input on local dialects.

Chris P
12-27-2013, 12:17 PM
New York, Jersey City or Yonkers for me. (What's a yonker??).

Which is bad, of course, because - yanno - Sydney, Australia.

Bah, Australians are just Americans with British accents anyway

*runs away very quickly hooting like Daffy Duck*

cornflake
12-27-2013, 12:42 PM
New York, Jersey City or Yonkers for me. (What's a yonker??).

Which is bad, of course, because - yanno - Sydney, Australia.

A yonker, a somewhat suburban creature, the collection of which resides between the Bronx and Westchester (it's like 20 minutes outside NYC).

I'd go with that Sydney is metropolitan sort of like NY? I dunno - take it as a compliment! As there are no options outside the U.S., heh. ;)

Caitlin Black
12-27-2013, 12:46 PM
New York, Jersey City or Yonkers for me. (What's a yonker??).

Which is bad, of course, because - yanno - Sydney, Australia.

I got exactly the same, because I used the keyword "Sneakers".

To be honest, I had no idea what a lot of the questions were asking about. I'm not up to speed on the local wildlife in America, nor do I drive to be able to answer some of the road/driving questions.

For a few of the questions, I wanted to mix 2 answers - and those questions did have "mix" answers, except they mixed 1 that I wanted to mix with 1 that I didn't want to mix.

Caitlin Black
12-27-2013, 12:48 PM
And LOL, before you say Adelaide is a big metropolitan city, Cornflake, I better stop you there. Adelaide is the backwater city that all the other Australian cities pick on. :tongue

Chris P
12-27-2013, 01:13 PM
Hm, I wonder if some of us got different questions. I didn't get any questions about shoes or wildlife. "Sneakers" or "tennies" (for tennis shoes) work for me, and 13-lined ground squirrels are "grinnies." I'm not sure if that's a bastardization of "ground" or because they sound like they're laughing while they're running away.

How about "worshing" the car? Does smoke go up the "chimley?" Not in my town, they don't!

chompers
12-27-2013, 01:16 PM
Yeah, I didn't get any of those questions that Chris P mentioned. I think they differ depending on how you answer.

J.S.F.
12-27-2013, 04:08 PM
I wanted to say "Y'all don't know nuthin'" but refrained from doing so. Took the poll and it said I came from one of three places--Toledo, Grand Rapids, or Buffalo.

Only the last one was close. I was born in Toronto, but my mother was American (born in Connecticut, moved to New York as a little girl, and then down to Florida where she met my father) and I've been living in Japan half my life, so I guess my English has become a little more generic over the years. My vocabulary has become very stunted, though. Half a lifetime of speaking very simple English (in many cases) has really caused a crimp in the way I speak...and write.

williemeikle
12-27-2013, 04:26 PM
>Dialect Quiz Can Tell Where You're From

No, it can't.

cray
12-27-2013, 05:00 PM
you'd think that there would be more than one correct response to each questions but there wasn't.....
there was only one right answer for each. hmmm. :Shrug:


anyway, i'm pretty sure i got a 100%.








*eats hoagie*


*takes a sip of wudder*

Ona Mission
12-27-2013, 05:06 PM
*pushes battery aside*
*pats pip*
*blows kiss...KISS, I said!*
*glares*

Gots Grand Rapids, Toledo, Buffalo. Close. Moved all over Ohio, so I picked up 'em accent things.

Cathy C
12-27-2013, 05:35 PM
I was raised in southern Colorado by parents raised in Wisconsin. It picked Wichita, Kansas, and Lincoln or Omaha, Nebraska. :Shrug: Sort of in the middle--midwestern dialect. I'll buy it as close enough. I have a lot of people say I have a midwestern accent.

ETA: One thing interesting is that since moving to Texas, they have names here for things that didn't have names in Colorado (like a drive-through liquor store being a "beer barn", where in Colorado, it was just a liquor store with a drive-through). Since Colorado was where I was raised (where I'm "from"), I answered as though there was no name, to be fair.

April Days
12-27-2013, 05:49 PM
I'm not from Minneapolis, but I must have lived here long enough to assimilate, according to my results.

breeze10
12-27-2013, 06:03 PM
Mine was very accurate and my friends are all getting accurate results, too. That is because our area has a few specifics - sneakers, hoagies, you guys.

I thought the quiz was really neat! A few months back they had that map up with lots of questions about dialects and it was so interesting to read about the rest of the country. I didn't realize tennis shoes was used so much more than sneakers and that most people say SIR-up (syrup) instead of SEER-up (syrup) like I do, haha!

Putputt
12-27-2013, 06:15 PM
It got me! It's like, totally cool, you guys. :D

jaksen
12-27-2013, 06:24 PM
Worked perfect for me. Gave three answers, all the same, southeastern MA.

They should have asked how we pronounce 'roof' and 'route.' I notice great difference in these words when watching television anchors from diff. parts of the country.

I was also surprised that where I live there are are lots of things for which we (people in my region) have no word for whatsoever. What's with that? :D

quickWit
12-27-2013, 06:38 PM
I quit after question 3 and it said "You're from Jersey".

Wicked
12-27-2013, 06:45 PM
It gave me Spokane, Des Moines, and Akron.
I've never been to any of those places.

The key word for Spokane and Akron was pop, which is what I said when I was a kid. (I say soda, now)
Des Moines came up because of "kitty-corner".

Oddly enough, the area on the map with the highest concentration of red, was my home state. SD

Lythande
12-27-2013, 07:27 PM
I'm more-or-less from Colorado. It decided I was probably from North Carolina, all because I said "yard sale".

I did notice that there were some like "lawyer" where I probably threw it off because I don't pronounce things now like I did when I was a kid; I started paying attention to how how words are spelled and decided how they should be pronounced.

(By the way, it should have asked how you pronounce "Colorado" - ever since I moved way I've been made fun of for pronouncing the A like "cat" instead of as an 'ah' :P Anyone else pronounce it wrong?)


ETA: When I went back and redid it, this time with an effort to remember how I used to say things, it did guess Denver (and Arizona). So it does it's job when you give it things it can work it, it seems.

ebbrown
12-27-2013, 07:37 PM
ROFL, that was neat. I think it was the hoagie that gave me away. So Jersey.

Lavern08
12-27-2013, 08:04 PM
Pretty close for me - Greensboro, NC isn't that far from VA. :Shrug:

Oh well,

You say see-lan-tro, and I say see-lahn-tro. :tongue

shadowwalker
12-27-2013, 08:10 PM
It listed a couple cities in Michigan (a couple states away) and mapped most of the upper third of the US. So, I'm going to give it a C for effort.

ETA: Went back after I realized I had somehow missed some questions - I now give it an F. No, I'm not from Spokane, Helena, or Milwaukee (although that was closer than Detroit the first time around).

ap123
12-27-2013, 08:23 PM
Pretty close for me. I can only assume there was no Brooklyn option, since none of the questions had "not for nothing but" as an option for an answer.

Ari Meermans
12-27-2013, 08:36 PM
heh. Mine was . . . odd. 23 of the 25 questions showed a map in varying shades of blue; i.e., no "hot spots", no solid matches. O_o Based on 2 answers for "service road" and "lawyer", the quiz gave the results of Montgomery, Birmingham, and Mobile. er . . . nope. It was fun, tho'.

Bloo
12-27-2013, 10:07 PM
It gave me Wichita, KS; Omaha, NE; and Lincoln, NE. I'm from Northwest Kansas (about 3 hours from Wichita, 3 hours from Colorado) so close enough.

Jehhillenberg
12-27-2013, 10:08 PM
Because I chose "pa-JAM-mas" over "pa-JAHM-mas..."

I got Las Vegas/North Las Vegas, Paradise/ Spring Valley, and Henderson. Strangely enough. Never been to them.

Vito
12-27-2013, 10:44 PM
The evil genius quiz robot or whatever it's called placed me in three Bay Area locations. That's 350-375 miles north of the Los Angeles-Orange County megalopolis area, where I was born and raised.

Close enough, so I'm giving the Evil Genius Quiz Robot a round of applause! :Thumbs:

Mr Flibble
12-27-2013, 10:49 PM
Apparently I'm from Yonkers?

Well I suppose it is one of the closest to me....

I did a British version (how Northern are you?) It was only half the country out!

MaryMumsy
12-28-2013, 12:56 AM
For giggles I did it again. There were a lot of the same questions, but a few different ones too. Three different cities.

OKC
Springfield MO
Amarillo

I did live about 800 miles from Amarillo for two years.

MM

ArachnePhobia
12-28-2013, 03:24 AM
St. Louis
Washington, D.C.
Phoenix

None of the above, lol. I'll admit a few of the questions tripped me up; there were a few I regularly hear all available words but couldn't pick "all of the above," the strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk is the meridian, and the night before Halloween is hell night, but neither of those were options. Oh, well, it was still fun.

virtue_summer
12-28-2013, 03:44 AM
Weird. All of the results are east coast. I've spent my entire life on the west coast.

Wanderluster
12-28-2013, 01:53 PM
It had no idea where to put me. Probably because my Dad's a NYer, my Mom's a West Coaster, and I grew up in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and didn't live in the States until college. What's an algorithm supposed to do with that?? :Shrug:

Putputt
12-28-2013, 02:20 PM
It had no idea where to put me. Probably because my Dad's a NYer, my Mom's a West Coaster, and I grew up in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and didn't live in the States until college. What's an algorithm supposed to do with that?? :Shrug:

I was born in Texas, spent half my childhood in Indonesia and half in Singapore, and then moved to California, and then Oxford, England...and after about five queshuns the algorithm went, "Yew talk like a Cali girl, you dirty hippo." I was like, "Ew, no way!" I wanna be all mysterious and exotic like yew, Wanderer of Lust!! :(

buz
12-28-2013, 03:55 PM
The three cities it gave were totally wrong, but the color-coded "you talk like this" area did cover the place I'm actually from :p

Apparently I just don't have words for lots of things that other people have words for? ;)

heyjude
12-28-2013, 04:42 PM
It definitely got me right, and it didn't even have the "gumband" option usually on Pittsburghese tests. :)

slhuang
12-28-2013, 10:14 PM
Ha, I took this back when they were doing the study (maybe my answers became part of the research, woohoo!). It didn't have the fun maps after each question, though, so this version was better.

Anyway, it nailed where I grew up ENTIRELY. Apparently I haven't picked up any Southern Californian-isms (besides putting the definite article in front of freeways!).

.303 Bookworm
12-28-2013, 10:55 PM
I always get Boston on these things, despite not ever having lived in Massachusetts. My mother's from Cambridge, though, and I seem to have inherited the dialect from her.

Jersey Chick
12-28-2013, 11:17 PM
Mine was right on - Newark (my family's originally from there and my great uncle was the mayor oh-so-many-moons ago) but I think the one question that tilted it completely was what the night before Halloween is called. I'm pretty sure NJ is the only place that calls it mischief night. Oh, and sub. It's always a sub here - hoagies are south Jersey and PA. :D

Wanderluster
12-29-2013, 12:09 AM
I was born in Texas, spent half my childhood in Indonesia and half in Singapore, and then moved to California, and then Oxford, England...and after about five queshuns the algorithm went, "Yew talk like a Cali girl, you dirty hippo." I was like, "Ew, no way!" I wanna be all mysterious and exotic like yew, Wanderer of Lust!! :(

Yeah, I think the "like" in between every other word is giving you away, hippo! :D



Apparently I just don't have words for lots of things that other people have words for? ;)

I didn't either. I chalked it up to not driving, though also stoopidity. Drive through liquor stores??? <--- stoopid. Road along highway? Um, "on ramp"? *stoopid Wander*


Ha, I took this back when they were doing the study (maybe my answers became part of the research, woohoo!).

I took the other Harvard study that you linked to on your blog - the word association one. One of the words was "hung" and the first word that came to mind was "huang", so I wrote "Lisa". Let's see what they make of that! :D

Putputt
12-29-2013, 12:13 AM
I took the other Harvard study that you linked to on your blog - the word association one. One of the words was "hung" and the first word that came to mind was "huang", so I wrote "Lisa". Let's see what they make of that! :D

Bwahaha!

*runs off to take the test and put "Lisa" with "hung"*

Wanderluster
12-29-2013, 12:57 AM
Bwahaha!

*runs off to take the test and put "Lisa" with "hung"*

hehe we will screw up Harvard results *and* make LISA FAMOOSE for being hung!!

slhuang
12-29-2013, 03:00 AM
Drive through liquor stores??? <--- stoopid.

That was my thought as well! I just don't GET that. (Sorry Midwestern/Southern friends!) I guess it could be useful for when I'm headed to a party and I've realized I forgot to buy something to bring, but somehow I don't think that's what people use it for . . .

I learned to drive in a state with an open container law, though. It made me so paranoid that I even put unopened liquor in the trunk.



I took the other Harvard study that you linked to on your blog - the word association one. One of the words was "hung" and the first word that came to mind was "huang", so I wrote "Lisa". Let's see what they make of that! :D
Bwahaha!

*runs off to take the test and put "Lisa" with "hung"*


hehe we will screw up Harvard results *and* make LISA FAMOOSE for being hung!!

Whut . . . yew GUYZ! :heart:

*iz totes honored about being part of a Harvard survey*
*also is totes okay for being famous for being hung; everyone knows that's an awesome thing to be and plus then everyone wants to have teh smex with you*

:D

(The only reason I didn't post the dialect survey at the time, btw, was cuz the site kept crashing and after I took it I couldn't get back on to show it to anyone else. I think they had a lot of interest once it hit Twitter! So sad that they will be lacking the unpigeonholeable Wanderer of Lust and the definitely-Californian Hippo in their results . . .)

LJD
12-29-2013, 03:34 AM
My top three were:

Buffalo
Boston
Honolulu

But I'm not American, of course...
Buffalo is pretty close to Toronto, though.

My boyfriend got (with a few different questions from me):

Detroit
Grand Rapids
Stockton

He grew up in small town Ontario, closer to Detroit than Buffalo.

So both of us got 1 city that was <200 km from where we grew up.

Siri Kirpal
12-29-2013, 03:57 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I've taken the quiz twice; it's refused to guess where I'm from. Which is smart of it, because I was born in upstate NY, raised in San Diego by a mother born and raised in Seattle, a father born and raised in upstate NY (by a family that immigrated from Lebanon to Louisiana), and a grandmother born and raised in rural Missourah. I've also lived in Oregon more than half of my life.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Vito
12-29-2013, 04:21 AM
I didn't either. I chalked it up to not driving, though also stoopidity. Drive through liquor stores??? <--- stoopid.



I saw drive-thru liquor stores while visiting Illinois back in the 1980s. The locals called 'em "package stores", for some reason that I never figured out. The area I visited was close to the Ohio River, where many of the residents have a Southern accent. So I heard a few people say something like, "I'm headin' on down to the package store to pick up a case of Budweiser, y'all".

The drive-thru window comes in handy during cold weather because you don't have to get out of your car to buy the brew, so I was told. :ROFL:

Fruitbat
12-29-2013, 05:20 AM
I remember drive through liquor stores but I haven't seen one in years and also don't recall another name for them.

This quiz got me exactly and my kid, too.

Some of it was very interesting. I didn't realize there was a name for the strip of grass between a sidewalk and a street. Also didn't know there was a name for rain when the sun was shining. One was "pineapple rain"- gorgeous!

DeleyanLee
12-29-2013, 07:31 AM
I took this once, and it said somwhere in Hawaii, Montgomery AL, and someplace in OK, IIRC. I've never been to any of these places. As far as I know, I never met anyone from those places when I was growing up.

Took it this time and got many different questions, and it nailed where I grew up: Detroit. It also said Montgomery and Mobile, which I've never been to. It nailed me as Detroit because of the night before Halloween question. LOL!

Haggis
12-29-2013, 07:45 AM
Fascinating. It picked three cities. Buffalo (I grew up there and lived there for 20 some years), Rochester (90 miles from Buffalo) and Detroit (lived in that general area for most of my life). It's all a coincidence, I'm sure. Either that or they've been talking to the NSA.

Siri Kirpal
12-29-2013, 08:25 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I've taken the quiz twice; it's refused to guess where I'm from. Which is smart of it, because I was born in upstate NY, raised in San Diego by a mother born and raised in Seattle, a father born and raised in upstate NY (by a family that immigrated from Lebanon to Louisiana), and a grandmother born and raised in rural Missourah. I've also lived in Oregon more than half of my life.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Well, I tried a third time, and it came up with

Fresno
Spokane
Bakersfield

At least, it picked West Coast.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

T Robinson
12-29-2013, 08:56 AM
Jackson, MS, Winston-Salem, NC and ..............New York City. How's that for a combination? Born, raised and spent all my life within 100 miles of Atlanta, GA.

TNK
12-29-2013, 09:53 AM
That was fun. It gave me Baton Rouge and Shreveport, Louisiana, and Houston, Texas.

I'm from Houston, but I've got family from Louisiana. :)

SianaBlackwood
12-29-2013, 12:03 PM
I got Providence, Boston and Worcester. Other than them being somewhere in the northeast and fairly close together, I don't know anything about any of them. I don't really have much in common, either - it's just basing it on me using 'bubbler' for a thing you get water out of at school and 'sunshower' for rain when it's sunny.

I come from Beyond the Black Stump, Australia :). I'm getting the impression I'd be confused a lot if I went on a US holiday.

Sunflowerrei
12-30-2013, 09:00 AM
I wrote about this on my blog after seeing it on Facebook. Nailed me exactly--the quiz gave me New York (where I'm from), Yonkers (close enough to the Bronx, I guess, where some of my family is from), and Newark, New Jersey.

Supergirlofnc
12-30-2013, 09:05 AM
I took this on facebook a few days ago. It gave me three cities - the first two were Raleigh and Greensboro. I live really close to Raleigh and my dad grew up in Greensboro. My mom lived there for a little while too, so no surprise. My third city was St. Louis. My mom is originally from the midwest, so it sort of made sense. When I mentioned it to her, I found out St. Louis was where my grandmother was born and grew up. I was amazed! Like Sunflowerrie, it also nailed it for me!

Brightdreamer
12-30-2013, 09:49 AM
Odd - one city right next door, one nearby, and Salt Lake City... though my mother's father's family are Mormons, so I suppose that makes sense.

jjdebenedictis
12-31-2013, 03:57 AM
Given I'm in the wrong country, it at least zeroed in on the correct edge of the map, if not the correct coast.

Morri
12-31-2013, 05:24 AM
I thought it was really interesting! Both my brother and I were born and raised in South Carolina, but it gave me three cities in California and he got three cities in North Carolina. We found it hilarious that we grew up in the same house and got places across the country from each other.

Ambrosia
12-31-2013, 06:11 AM
So are you all saying that if I take the quiz a second and third time I will get different questions and may get different results? Cause I have to say, it was as far off as possible. lol!

It had the cities with pattern of my dialect being most similar all on the West Coast, where I have never been (though I really want to visit!):

Seattle
Tacoma
Portland/Vancouver

It gave the least similar as all on the East Coast, where I have spent the last 20 years of my life (well, not near those cities but at least I have visited two of them. :tongue):

Worcester
Providence
Philadelphia


I was born and raised in Kansas City MO. Go figure. :Shrug:

shadowwalker
12-31-2013, 09:11 AM
It does seem to like Washington a lot.

Chris P
12-31-2013, 10:23 AM
It does seem to like Washington a lot.

I heard a linguist say that once you get west of Denver or so, there really are no accents. His thesis was that America was settled by people of certain nationalities settling on the East Coast, then moving mostly directly west (which is exactly how the colonies then the states started claiming territory). That's why you tend to see east-west bands of accent families across the country. But starting with the Gold Rush and continuing through Reconstruction, when the country had expanded to Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado everything went wonky-doos as far as migration was concerned. People from all over settled the Rockies and West Coast.

All that to say perhaps the West Coast is such a mish-mash of American dialects (and let's not forget the influence of Hispanic and Asian immigration) that the algorithm places a lot of people there.

Vito: Package stores is a southern thing. It's "package" because the liquor is packaged in a bottle rather than served in a glass and consumed there. When I first moved to Mississippi people told me to "turn at the package store" and I kept looking for a place to have things gift wrapped.

Yasaibatake
12-31-2013, 09:58 PM
I am also from Kansas City (not actually born here, but I've been here since 1989) and it gave me:

Denver
Aurora
Fresno

I've been to Denver, at least...and Aurora's a suburb, so those two go together. And it's kinda close to KC? Though people here swear I have an accent, and my friends like to laugh at the way I talk sometimes.

Then again, several years ago when I was in college, I had a phonetics professor who managed to pinpoint my birth state (West Virginia) just by listening to me talk. Her theory was that since I lived there during my toddler years when language does the most developing, I held onto those traits despite my long stay here in KC. Though the Times didn't guess in that direction either...

elinor
01-01-2014, 11:57 PM
It said I was from either Tacoma or Seattle Washington, or Salt Lake City Utah. A little weird. I spent most of my life in a small rural area of Oregon, and have lived the last few years in Georgia. And my social life for the last eight years has been 99% of the time with a bunch of Canadians who speak Canadian French. On the other hand, the older I get the more I am discovering that quite a few of the people I grew up with were Mormon or Mennonites so maybe I picked up some of their language ticks - hence the Salt Lake City thing.

ElaineA
01-02-2014, 12:22 AM
I spent every summer from age 7 to 17 with my rather itinerant dad, living everywhere from San Fran suburbs to Dallas to various cities in Ohio and Indiana. My cities in the quiz were Spokane, Salt Lake and Minneapolis (never spent any time in either of the last 2), but I think my map probably is a reflection of a lot of words I picked up in my summers away from home. Pretty interesting. :)