Tag Archives: language

This Linguistic Map Of The U.S. Fails To Take Into Account The Full Range Of “You” Expressions

you vs yinz linguistic map

I’m totally fascinated by the way people talk. Accents, vocabulary and emphasis varies so much, depending on where in the country you live. I lived in the Midwest (land of “pop,” not “soda”) until I was 9, which is probably why my speaking accent is generally pretty flat and indistinct. But I also happened to move with my family to the South and the Northeast, so I’ve heard a wide range of accents and ways of speaking. My flat accent is probably why I won my fifth grade declamation contest when I lived in Fort Worth, Texas. (It was with a poem creepily titled “Touch of the Master’s Hand,” ahem.)

Joshua Katz, a Ph.D. student in statistics at North Carolina State University, created a series of 22 maps exploring the varied and wonderful language and pronunciations around the country. Katz looked at everything from the way people pronounce the word “lawyer,” to the various and sundry terms for traffic circles (roundabouts, rotaries, etc.). The data is really fun to look at, but I must take exception with his discussion of how people around the country address a group. Yes, there’s “y’all” in the South, “you guys” in the West and “you all” in a small pocket of Kentucky. But there’s also “youse” in Philadelphia and “yinz” in Baltimore and Pittsburgh!

Take a look at Katz’s map, and some of the other ones at the link and tell us about the little phrases and words people say where you live!

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"Twerk" in the dictionary
Twerk Has Been Added To The Oxford Dictionary
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The Soapbox: On Using The C-Word

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Hillary Clinton
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Anthony Weiner’s communications director calling a former intern a “cunt,” “slutbag” and other slurs is just one aspect of the choppy waters surrounding the sex scandal-ridden NYC mayoral candidate’s sinking campaign. But of all the what-are-they-thinking? Weiner campaign moments in the past few weeks, it is the one that has stood out in my mind.  Because when Barbara Morgan, the communications director, went off to a Talking Points Memo reporter about former intern Olivia Nuzzi, who dished secrets about the campaign in the New York Daily News, it wasn’t just Morgan’s overall frustration or unprofessionalism that was questionable. It was how she called another woman “cunt.”

That’s a word that I use myself, quite liberally in fact. Now I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t anymore. Keep reading »

Finally! Someone Has Invented Punctuation For The Way People Really Talk

Words We Hate
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G-R-R-L, did you hear about the new word allowed in Scrabble? Read More »

These days, most people use their phones for texting or as very expensive paper weights. So it makes sense that since we’re texting way more than we’re talking, we’d need to develop some extra punctuation to handle all of the little intricacies of a typing-based world. Like Mockwotations, for when you’re like “I’m totally going to do that thing that’ll never ever do, kthanksbye!” Thankfully, Mike Trapp of College Humor created a whole slew of new marks that perfectly encapsulate the needs of our irony-rich, highly truncated world. Click through to see some of our favorite marks. [College Humor]

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Be My Boyfriend: Guy Who Spent 3.5 Hours Pronouncing The World’s Longest Word

Be My BF: Gumball Guy
He made the world's largest gumball out of Nicorette. Read More »
Be My BF: Mobile Office
This guy gives a whole new meaning to telecommuting. Read More »
Words We Hate
We want to retire these words and phrases forever. Read More »
"Methionylthreonylthreonylgluta..."

Dear Guy Who Spent 3.5 Hours Pronouncing The World’s Longest Word,

In second grade I gained a certain amount of notoriety on the playground for memorizing the spelling of “antidisestablishmentarianism,” which was, according to my teacher, the longest word in the world. Obviously Mrs. Shumaker was sorely mistaken, because the actual longest word in the world is the chemical name of a protein that contains 189,819 letters and takes nearly three and a half hours to pronounce in its entirety.

But you, sir, weren’t fazed by this lengthy locution. In fact, you filmed a video of yourself pronouncing the whole thing. And even as the potted plant next to you wilts tragically and your 5 o’clock shadow grows into a dark beard, you maintain your sexy Russian monotone.

After you catch your breath, would you like to read me a bedtime story?

[YouTube via Oddity Central]

10 Words That Make French A Language Worth Preserving

I don’t like hearing about any languages disappearing, but the idea of French’s demise seems intolerable. Fortunately, it is also probably impossible, at least in the near future, but French is a language in decline. Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) is an organization dedicated to promoting democracy, peace, and human rights in the 70 French-speaking countries, and also to preserving the French language. In honor of Bastille Day (today!), here are 10 words and phrases with no English equivalents that make the unmistakable case for Français. Read more…

Women Rule When It Comes To Words

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Women! Our strange vocal tics and annoying upspeak patterns are actually groundbreaking and important, so says science. Linguists now say that a lot of the vocal embellishments women and girls use are actually a lot more sophisticated and refined than previously thought. Take that, Valley Girl doubters!

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