Despite the reach of television and pop culture, American English dialects are growing more diverse. Grant shows how it’s possible to pinpoint your region of origin — or at least come close — based on the way you pronounce the word bag. Of course, whether you call a carbonated beverage soda, pop or Coke also depends on what part of the country you’re from. Same with sofa, couch or davenport. Although we still tend to pick up faddish words from the media, local dialects continue to thrive, and there are plenty of quizzes out there to prove it. Linguist Bert Vaux’s American Dialect Survey includes helpful maps based on the answers that speakers in the United States give to 122 questions about regional words and phrases. This is part of a complete episode.
- Spur of the Moment 10/17/2016: A caller with a 25-year-old parrot wonders: How much language do birds really understand? Plus, Knock-knock. Who's there? Boo. Well… you can guess the rest.... [more]
- Hell for Leather 10/10/2016: Victorian slang and a modern controversy over language and gender. In the early 1900's, a door-knocker wasn't just what visitors used to announce their arrival,... [more]
- Scat Cat 09/17/2016: The dilemma continues over how to spell dilemma! Grant and Martha try to suss out the backstory of why some people spell that word with... [more]
- We have the results! 09/13/2016: Help support A Way with Words broadcasts and podcasts by making a donation now. Dear friends, Last week we sent out a simple survey to tens of... [more]
- Pop Stand 07/29/2016: When it comes to learning new things, what's on your bucket list? A retired book editor decided to try to learn Latin, and ended up... [more]