Did you know that your answers to just a handful of questions can predict the zip code of where you grew up? In 2013 Josh Katz accumulated and visually mapped over 350,000 unique survey responses to questions about word choice and pronunciation throughout America. His dialect quiz quickly became the most viewed webpage in the history of the New York Times. In Speaking American Katz offers a visual atlas of the American vernacular—who says what, and where they say it—revealing the history of our nation, our regions, and our language.
From the creator of the New York Times dialect quiz that ignited conversations about how and why we say the words we say, a stunning and delightful exploration of American language
Did you know that your answers to just a handful of questions can reveal where you grew up? In December 2013, Josh Katz released an interactive dialect quiz in the New York Times that became the most viewed page in the paper's history. Now a graphics editor, Katz harnessed the overwhelming response to that quiz to create Speaking American, an extraordinary and beautiful tour through the American vernacular.
How do you pronounce "pecan"? What do you call a long sandwich with varieties of meats and cheeses? Do you cut the grass or mow the lawn?
The answers to these questions—and the distinctions they reveal about who says what and where they say it—are not just the ultimate in cocktail party fodder; they are also windows into the history of our nation, our regions, and our language. On page after page, readers will be fascinated and charmed by these stunning maps of how Americans speak as they gain new insights into our language and ourselves.
For fans of Eats, Shoots and Leaves and How the States Got Their Shapes, Speaking American is an irresistible feast of American regional speech.
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