How Americans Speak Differently in Various Regions, Visualized

Depending on where you're from and where you've lived in the United States, you probably say things a little differently than people from other parts of the country. You've experienced this, but you've never seen how the regional dialects of the United States break down quite so cleanly.

Ph.D student Joshua Katz has applied some academic rigor to the old "soda, pop, coke" debate. Katz studied data from a 122 question survey examining the differences in how we speak across the country, plugging the that data into an interactive heat map displaying the answers to the many questions.

How Americans Speak Differently in Various Regions, Visualized

Katz also made a page that allows you to examine the aggregate dialect differences between one city and the rest of the country. For example, Barrett and I are from Washington DC, so I looked up the map below. Who know that we spoke so similarly to people in Florida? Wow.

How Americans Speak Differently in Various Regions, Visualized

This is a perfect example of how to make a really powerful visualization that's informative rather than gratuitous and silly. Katz's work takes information that's been abstractly planted in our heads and turns it into something we can understand. Kudos! [Joshua Katz via The Abstract via Reddit via Business Insider]