Can Dialect Maps Tell if Kentucky is More Southern or Midwestern?
Louisville's geographic location has always led to that question of whether it's aSouthern cityora Midwestern city.A series of interactive maps looking at dialects shows that it's both.Joshua Katz, a doctoral student at North Carolina State University, created the maps using survey data from Cambridge University linguist Bert Vaux. Vaux had asked people across the nation how they pronounced or used 122 words or phrases.Katz told N.C. State's The Abstract: “To me, dialect is a badge of pride – it’s something that says, ‘This is who I am; this is where I come from.’”Fast Company's Co.EXIST noted:
But you all know that there's more.Like most of the South, Louisville (and Kentucky) prefers to generically call a "sweetened carbonated beverage" a Coke, ostensibly because Coca-Cola is based in Atlanta. But the runner-up choice is "soda," popular in the Northeast, around St. Louis, Chicago and California. "Soft drink" isn't far behind. "Pop" is popular in the Rust Belt, and, incidentally, makes my skin crawl.
But, like the South, we insist that they're roly polies. In the Northwest and other pockets, they're called potato bugs. Around Cincinnati, uniquely, the preference is "pill bug"And the Northeast and parts of the Rust Belt have absolutely no idea what those things are.
One more.Kentuckians and most bordering regions use "lightning bugs." Out west and in parts of New England, they're calling them "fireflies."