2.15.2006

What kind of American English do you speak?

Fascinating. My results are:


Your Linguistic Profile:


50% General American English

30% Yankee

20% Dixie

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern


I don't know where the Dixie comes from! 50% General American English and 30% Yankee make sense. I'm curious about what the results would be for family members who were born in Omaha and grew up in California, and friends from Chicago, Cincinnatti, and Dallas.

I felt that they left out some essential options, like calling a water fountain a "bubbler" or "bubbla," if you prefer. I also would have liked to see a question about what you call little bits of sugary things that you put on top of ice cream (the obvious choices being "sprinkles" or "jimmies"). I also think that there are lots of different regional names for long sandwiches (subs, heroes, maybe more than I'm unaware of).

What I would really like to see, though, is a study on regional variations on the "Little Bunny Foo Foo" song. (I don't want to prejudice you towards one regional variant, but here are the lyrics for those who are unfamiliar with the song.) I learned to sing it in Northern California, but there are apparently small regional variations, which I discovered in college, where we had time to discuss such arcane things. I also think that there are variations in the kids' clapping song "Miss Mary Mack." I wonder if such a study has been done?

9 comments:

Avi said...

I'm 40% General AMerican English, 40% Yankee, and 15% Dixie. Thanks for the distraction!

Avi said...

Wait, that doesn't add up to 100%.... Oh yeah, I left one of the answers blank because none of them applied to me (#10).

BZ said...

I'm 20% Upper Midwestern and 5% Midwestern! Whee!!!

Avi said...

FYI, results of a friend of mine from North Carolina:

65% General American English
15% Dixie
15% Yankee
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

She has a southern accent and everything, yet she's only 15% Dixie, just like I am.

Anonymous said...

I guess my English reflects those 23+ years in the Northeast. I speak
45% General American English
3o% Yankee
10% Midwestern
10% Upper Midwestern
5% Dixie

Imma

ALG said...

BZ, what about the other 75%? Did you only answer 25% of the questions?

Imma, I find your breakdown interesting. I'm glad that you've retained some of your midwestern roots! And congratulations on your very first comment on a blog!

Miriam said...

Here was my breakdown:

45% General American English
10% Dixie
45% Yankee
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

Daddy said...

I'm 50% General American English, 40% Yankee, and 10% Dixie. I'm not sure I believe these results, though. For one thing, it doesn't distinguish between New York and Boston. People who say "cruller" would never say "jimmies," for example (not that it asked about jimmies vs. sprinkles), but these would both be lumped together as Yankee, I assume. (Another way to distinguish New York from Boston would be "milk shake" vs. "frappe.") Also, I don't know why everyone in our family has some Dixie. If it were just me and Miriam, it might be explained by our each having lived part of our lives in the DC area, but we have no more Dixie on average than the rest of the family.

Avi said...

Well, which questions are we answering with a Dixie answer?