How y’all Youse and You Guys Talk

More than 350,000 people took Josh Katz’s dialect quiz for the New York Times in 2013, making it the most popular page in the newspaper’s history.

Colorful maps displaying different words used across the United States for various items were created from the study results.

A “tag sale,” as opposed to a “yard sale,” “garage sale,” or “rummage sale,” is a sale of home goods. Tennis shoes, as opposed to “sneakers,” are commonly worn in these locations.

How y'all Youse and You Guys Talk

These and a slew of other queries regarding American dialects will be addressed in detail by Katz’s maps and accompanying explanations.

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How y’all Youse and You Guys Talk About?

As soon as the “dialect quiz” appeared in the New York Times in 2013, it became a cultural icon that has stayed with us to this day.

The project is both easy and difficult at the same time. A map of your hometown or childhood home can be generated by answering a series of questions about the phrases you use.

Each city on the map is represented by a heatmap emanating from the location where the map thinks you speak the language most frequently.

Checking the Map’s Location

There are organic sections of American culture and identity that don’t cleanly fit into state lines on this map.

One of Josh Katz’s personal side projects was used by millions of people in the first few weeks following its publication as an extension to his graduate school research.

At times, the project’s server were overwhelmed by the traffic. The initiative immediately became the most watched piece of content in the history of the New York Times’ online presence.

How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk receives a Peabody Award for its ability to relate a personal tale while also creating a vast array of maps of cultural geography that, even a decade after publication, still delights new readers today.

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For anyone curious about how we utter the words we do in the United States, this is an entertaining and thought-provoking read from the mind behind the New York Times’ popular dialect quiz.