American Colloquialism Calamity – 英会話・英語 アミック
A few years ago, a survey went around American Facebook circles asking simply what part of the country you live in, what you call certain objects, and how you pronounce certain words. After finishing, you saw a map of how people answered the same questions in different parts of the country.
For some questions, the answers were nearly the identical across the board except for one small hotspot (e.g. only in a small part of Pennsylvania and New Jersey do they call a long sandwich with meat and lettuce a ‘hoagie’, whereas everywhere else it’s called a ‘sub’). For other questions, the answers varied wildly; here are a few of my favorites:
These illustrations are from designer Joshua Katz’s book, “Speaking American” and based on a pre-Facebook study done by Cambridge’s Bert Vaux et al. To take a similar version of the survey, check out The Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes (also being conducted by Vaux).