Did you know that your answers to just a handful of questions can reveal where you grew up? In December 2013, Josh Katz launched an interactive dialect quiz in the New York Instances that became the most viewed webpage in the paper’s history. Now a graphics editor, Katz harnessed the overwhelming response to that quiz to create Speaking American, an extraordinary and beautiful tour through the American vernacular.
How do you pronounce “pecan”? What do you contact a long sandwich with types of meats and cheeses? Do you cut the grass or mow the lawn?
The answers to these questions—and the distinctions they reveal about who says what and where they say it—are not just the greatest in cocktail celebration fodder they are also windows into the background of our nation, our regions, and our language. On web page right after web page, readers will be fascinated and charmed by these stunning maps of how Americans talk as they acquire new insights into our language and ourselves.
For fans of Eats, Shoots and Leaves and How the States Got Their Shapes, Speaking American is an irresistible feast of American regional speech.
- Houghton Mifflin
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