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Do you say soda, pop or Coke?

Posted at 12:43 PM, Jun 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-07 12:43:02-04

Richmond language

by Joe Millitzer

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Joshua Katz built an amazing interactive map as part of his final project for an applied statistics project at North Carolina State University. He used survey data to come up with some maps to track dialects of the English language in the United States. The map tracks American dialects by location. It can tell you similarities and differences based on location. See the map here.

The Richmond dialect is most like dialects in:

  • Virginia Beach, Va
  • Chesapeake, Va
  • Norfolk, Va
  • Raleigh/Durham, NC

The Richmond dialect is least like dialects in:

  • Newark, NJ
  • New York, NY
  • Jersey City, NJ
  • Saint Pail, Minn
  • Minneapolis, Minn

Katz used 122 questions from a Cambridge University study on English Dialects. It asked questions like:

  • “Do you say soda, pop or Coke?”
  • “What do you call the box you bury a dead person in?”
  • “What do you call your maternal grandmother?”

You can tell the difference in particular dialects by the way people answer those questions.  He took the survey results and plotted them on a map.  You can see the individual question results plotted plotted on a map here.

Website for the study: Beyond “Soda, Pop, or Coke”

This is the map for how people answered the question, “Do you say soda, pop or coke?”