I was in Birmingham, Alabama all week on business, and I have always been fascinated by how people speak in different parts of the country. Since I've traveled a lot, and I've been fortunate to have friends from coast to coast, I consider myself pretty damn good at figuring out where people are from just by listening to them speak. Not just by their "accents," but also by their word choices, colloquialisms, and grammar.
For example, in Alabama, a lot of local folks like to but "a" in front of verbs.
I'm a-goin' to the store to buy some bread.
Incidentally, many southern states also do this. West Virginia, for example.
Yale researchers have been studying how people in certain regions of the country use grammar, and they even created a pretty cool map. It's amazingly accurate. In fact, the map shows that many caucasians in Alabama do that A-Prefixing thing that I noticed.
Here in the St. Louis area (along with much of the Midwest - Illinois, Southern Michigan and Indiana, the Dakotas, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Iowa), we tend to use the Positive Anymore when talking. Here's a couple examples:
Yes, we still have several Blockbuster Video stores around here anymore. The only thing anymore about baseball I like is watching home runs.
I have friends in Los Angeles, and along with other parts of the country, they like to do the Drama So when talking:
I am so going to kick his ass when I see him next time.
People in New York state and Houston, Texas, and Seattle also tend to do the Drama So.
I spent some time in parts of Pennsylvania back in the early 2000s, and I always found Pennsylvanians had a very distinctive usage of the the English language that became easy for me to pick up. They are one of the regions that do the Needs Washed.
After driving through the mud, my car needs washed.
By the way, I've been told that I have absolutely no accent at all when I speak. People have said that I speak as if I could be on the news. Not sure if that's a compliment or not.
You can learn more about the Yale study and take a look at the entire Grammar Map HERE.
* Amazingly, Iron Warrior shot up the Amazon Best Sellers rankings despite a lack of marketing. It hovered in the Top 20 in the Asian Myths and Legends category before tumbling. Oh well. Easy come easy go. * I will be at Wizard World Comic Con in St. Louis this weekend, sharing an author table with Eric Asher. It's the biggest show I've ever done. I'll be blogging about my experience next week. * My blog turns 10 years old this August, and I think I'm going to celebrate with a bunch of giveaways AND I'm going to revert to my old format for the entire month. So expect whacky science stories in August.
Blogging since 2005.
Medical sales warrior by day, writing ninja by night...
I am the author of The Mechanica Wars series. The first book, Dragonfly Warrior, will be published in January, 2014 by 4 Wing Press.
I love science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, biographies, and chocolate chip cookies.