In which I am triangulated

As has probably everyone else between Lake Superior and the Rio Grande, I’ve taken that dialect test which the New York Times calls “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk,” and I admit to expecting answers somewhat less than definitive.

Sure enough, the three towns most similar to me, speech-pattern-wise, were very far apart: Madison, Wisconsin; Jacksonville, Florida; and Springfield, Missouri. Then again, I was born in the northern suburbs of Chicago, grew up in South Carolina, and now live in Oklahoma — so what else could it have said?


  1. backwoods conservative »

    26 December 2013 · 8:32 am

    It related me to Jackson, Mississippi, and Birmingham and Montgomery in Alabama. I’ve lived in South Carolina all my life. At least it called me a southerner.

  2. McGehee »

    26 December 2013 · 8:51 am

    Jackson MS, Fort Wayne IN and … somewhere else I’ve forgotten and no closer to where I got them than the other two.

    I made a conscious effort to give answers applicable to where I grew up, which was Sacramento. Now I expect I might have been influenced by where my parents grew up — Iowa and western Montana — and possibly descendants from Dust Bowl-era immigrants since Sacramento wasn’t an epicenter of later, more recent immigrant waves. Then again, apparently my mother’s father’s folks came to Montana from Illinois, which could possibly account for Fort Wayne.

    But Jackson, Mississippi? No way.

  3. McGehee »

    26 December 2013 · 8:52 am

    “Sacramento wasn’t an epicenter of later, more recent general immigrant waves.”

    Is what I meant.

  4. Marie »

    26 December 2013 · 10:14 am

    Apparently someone from Ontario sounds like they’re from Grand Rapids, Detroit, and/or Buffalo. It’s funny that when I went to Maine, people instantly knew I was Canadian even though I swear we talk alike! Guess I just don’t have an ear for the differences.

  5. JT »

    26 December 2013 · 10:28 am

    The quiz has put me in the middle of Florida. Being a 5th generation Texan, I’m kind of unhappy about this. :)

  6. mysterian »

    26 December 2013 · 5:04 pm

    4th generation Texan place in the heart of Alabama; a place i’ve only driven through.

  7. CGHill »

    26 December 2013 · 5:29 pm

    The only Texan I’ve heard from, they got right — but he’s moved to L.A.

  8. hatless in hattiesburg »

    26 December 2013 · 11:57 pm

    i took it once at another computer and once after my holiday travels. both times it gave me lubbock & amarillo tx – which are spot on. the other results were albuquerque nm and little rock ar – close but no cigar.

  9. Roberta X »

    27 December 2013 · 7:08 am

    check the “heat map” carefully — the pick cities are a mixed bag of results but there’s usually a dark-red spot near where you leaned to talk. For as short as the test is, I find the results in my household (sample size of two) are accurate.

  10. canadienne »

    27 December 2013 · 11:15 am

    Funny. Canadian, of course, so I got Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane, all close to the border and west-ish. As close as possible. The language spills both ways over the border although probably more northward, I guess, and we have been getting Seattle and Spokane on cable for quite a while now.

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