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Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk: A Visual Guide (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Josh Katz

Jan. 10, 2017
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Despite homogenization and globalization, not to mention migration across state lines, regional differences persist in America’s spoken English. Some of those differences came as a surprise to New Jersey-born New Yorker Josh Katz, who compiled Speaking American from an online survey. Example: Who outside the South refers to a sun shower as “the devil beating his wife”? Some distinctions come down to age: most post-Greatest Generation Americans learned to say “quarter” for two bits instead of “korter.” Wisconsin has many quirks, sharing “bubbler” with Rhode Islanders but keeping “rummage sale” pretty much to ourselves. Elsewhere it’s called a “garage” or “yard sale” or even, for New Yorkers, a “stoop sale.” And while Chicagoans drink “pop,” in Wisconsin we reserve the word for our dads or bad music. 

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