Saturday, July 1, 2006

July 1, 2006: What kind of American English do you speak?

So I saw this "quiz" on someone's blog and, being fascinated with linguistics, was compelled to take it. But it was just so incomplete that I couldn't do it satisfactorily. I don't know where the creator of this quiz is from, but there are just so many more tell-tale, linguistic regionalisms available than what are listed here. I needed to make up my own version. For example:

What is the plural of "you"?
1. You guys
2. Youse guys
3. Y'all
4. Y'alls
5. You'ins

How do you say words that end in "ary" (e.g., elementary, documentary)?
1. Like I do
2. Like Randy does

How do you say this name: "Sheila"?
1. Shilla
2. Sheela

Where do you shop?
1. Walmart
2. The Walmart
3. The Walmarts

What is Bigfoot's other name?
1. Sasquatch (as in S-AHS-qwahtch)
2. Sasquatch (as in SASS-qwatch)

When you are preparing to go somewhere or do something, are you:
1. fixin' to
2. going to
3. about to
4. gonna

How do you give directions?
1. Say, "It's over by where the old Walmart used to be, turn by the old Texaco, and go up to what used to be a stop sign but is now a red light. Or is it still a stop sign?"
2. Say, "Take a left at the stop light and go 1.3 miles."
3. Say, "Go north for 1 mile, turn west, and then north at intersection."
4. Say, "Go a ways to the brick house with the birdbath in front and the nice flower bed, then turn left and go about 3 houses. We're the ones with the dirt pile in the front yard."

When you are telling something that's happened in the past, do you say:
1. I done did it.
2. I did it.
3. I done done did it.

If you are telling a story, do you say:
1. Me and my cousin
2. My cousin and I
3. My cousin and me
4. I don't have any cousins

If you are unable to do something, do you say:
1. I can't
2. I cain't
3. Whatever

If you take this quiz and score the same as I do, you may possibly be a Yankee! If you take this quiz and score the same as Randy does, you may possibly be Midwestern! If you take this quiz and flunk, you are probably dialectically and regionally confused. Welcome to the melting pot!

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