The NYT accent quiz

The NYT published a accent quiz in late 2013 entitled “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk”. Upon answering a question the respondent is prompted with the next question and a map of the United States that places them on a scale of most similar to least similar. This quiz forces the respondent to think about where they are from and how that shapes their accent. I took the quiz when it first came out, but taking it again was interesting. Some of my answers had little to no recognition on the map, this quiz is by no means statistically perfect. This was probably one of the first main stream quizzes based in fact to get national coverage from a nation media outlet. People all over the country were able to take this quiz, whereas 15 years ago the internet had not yet developed into the interconnected web that it is today. Many online quizzes such as those found on Buzzfeed imitate the questions found in this quiz. One fault of this quiz is that it does not account for where you grew up, where you were educated, and where your parents are from. Someone who moved frequently would have very different results from someone who has lived in the same place their entire life.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/20/sunday-review/dialect-quiz-map.html?_r=0

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2 thoughts on “The NYT accent quiz”

  1. I took this quiz and, unsurprisingly, my results accurately represent where I live, which is right in the heart of New England, in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Some of my answers sometimes did not correlate to what is generally said in the New England area, despite my having lived here for my entire life. This is interesting because it implies that I may have learned those sayings from other people who may have lived in other areas during their lives and brought saying from other geographical areas to where they live now. Therefore, this becomes an interesting tool to loosely look at a person’s ancestry or the way the population has moved and changed as a whole. For this reason I think it is good that the quiz doesn’t ask specific questions about where you live or where you grew up. The amazing thing about this quiz is that it is able to tell where you spend most of your time based on the way you talk!

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    1. This is a pretty cool quiz. I remember seeing something vey similar to this a while back but never got the chance to actually take it. Having taken the quiz, I was surprised to see that the state in which I live in was gueesed correctly just by the pattern of my dialect. Many of the words/phrases in the quiz I have never seen before, but some of them I was able to pin point on the map where they possibly are used. A lot of the times we consider specific dialects and patterns of speech with intelligence, it would be neat to see a test that proves this misconception incorrect.

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