Speaking American

Speaking American

How Y'all, Youse, and You Guys Talk : A Visual Guide

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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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.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016
ISBN: 9780544703391
Branch Call Number: 427.973 KATZ
Characteristics: 203 pages : color illustrations ; 25 x 26 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

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AL_FELICIA Aug 09, 2017

Fascinating and informative! This book is a lot of fun, and every page will capture your attention with colored maps and fun tidbits. It's amazing the many ways we say the same thing across the country.

Comment
AL_RACHEL Jul 08, 2017

It was a lot of fun to see how the cultures of the USA have created their own dialects. The infographics provided most of the details, but it was a pleasure to reflect on my own dialect and just how much variety exists among the subcultures in America.

Comment
AL_KATI May 01, 2017

Looking for a book to spark conversation? You've found it. Absolutely fascinating to see how the country speaks and how language changes. (And for the record, it's a bubbler, not a water fountain.)


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AL_FELICIA Aug 09, 2017

Fascinating and informative! This book is a lot of fun, and every page will capture your attention with colored maps and fun tidbits. It's amazing the many ways we say the same thing across the country.

AL_RACHEL Jul 08, 2017

It was a lot of fun to see how the cultures of the USA have created their own dialects. The infographics provided most of the details, but it was a pleasure to reflect on my own dialect and just how much variety exists among the subcultures in America.

b
BREATHLESSMAHONEY
May 17, 2017

I used to wonder what the difference between green onions and scallions was. I now know it's a matter of geography.

AL_KATI May 01, 2017

Looking for a book to spark conversation? You've found it. Absolutely fascinating to see how the country speaks and how language changes. (And for the record, it's a bubbler, not a water fountain.)

f
fledge
Jan 20, 2017

A picture book for adults, and probably best read and enjoyed with people from other parts of the country. I’m a “you guys, roly-poly, semi, crawdad, drinking fountain, lightning bug” sort of a guy, which only makes sense if you read the book, and pegs me as a speaker from southeast and east central Kansas. A light, entertaining book so give it a look.

TSCPL_KyleM Jan 02, 2017

Very interesting look at American language. We brought this out over the holidays while we had relatives from different parts of the country in town and it was amazing how every phrase matched up!

DBRL_DanaS Nov 16, 2016

As someone from the land of "sneakers" and "mischief night" living in the middle of "roundabout" and "carr-mel" territory, I'd say these maps are pretty accurate! Especially fun to flip through with someone raised in a different part of the country from you to compare and contrast.

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