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Speaking American: A Visual Guide

Josh Katz
# UM0742 Hardcover, 203 pages; 2016
Currently Unavailable
This fascinating, illustrated guide to "how y'all, youse, and you guys talk" presents the United States divided in myriad ways, according to specific word usage and pronunciation. Various heat maps show where Americans are likely to say "eighteen-wheeler" rather than "semi," pronounce a certain fruit "app-ricot" instead of "ape-ricot," or call those funny little black critters "pillbugs" not "roly polies" (I'm a "doodlebug" girl, myself). Some delineations are unsurprising - "bless you," for example, dominates the Southern Bible Belt while "gesundheit" is concentrated in heavily German-settled Wisconsin and Minnesota - but there are pockets of people not pronouncing the "t" in "often" all over the country. What linguistic fun...and how culturally delightful that "our parents, our siblings, and our childhood friends have an impact that far outweighs any homogenizing effects of television, film, or the Internet"! (CH)
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