What is Speaking American? I’ll answer the question with more questions. What do you call the shoes you wear to work out in? What’s the name for when people put a bunch of their old, unwanted crap on their lawn and try to sell it to suckers passing by? How about the fizzy liquid with buckets of sugar…or fake sugar…a lot of us drink like water?
Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk is a compilation of author Josh Katz’s research on the English language and its dialects as they are used in various regions of the US. Katz is also the creator of the New York Times dialect quiz; when it was published in December 2013, it became the most viewed page in the paper’s history.
Using full-color maps and graphics, Speaking American explores how our words define us – or at least how our terminology and pronunciation can reveal where we’re from. In addition to those mentioned above, regional speech Katz visualizes for us includes: How do you pronounce “pecan”?; What do you call a long sandwich with varieties of meats and cheeses?; and Do you cut the grass or mow the lawn?
You can click through to Speaking American‘s Amazon listing to take a look inside its pages, and see where you fall in the dialect fun.