Saturday, June 8, 2013

American Dialects...

At the University of Cambridge (UK), Bert Vaux has been running a survey of English dialects for some time, collecting a large amount of data (you can take the survey and add results yourself).  Now Joshua Katz at the North Carolina State University Department of Statistics has taken this raw data, filtered it for the United States, massaged it a bit, and produced a beautiful set of interactive graphics like the one below, each exploring a different particular dialectical variant.

The example I've reproduced below shows one such dialectical variant: what you call the device for drinking water in public.  The red areas mostly say “water fountain”, the blue areas “drinking fountain”, and the weird little green areas are where they say “bubbler” (what's up with Rhode Island and Michigan?). 

If you're at all interested in language, or just English in particular, this is a fascinating interactive graphic, very well done...

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