Have you taken the New York Times’ dialect quiz yet? It tells you where you’re from based on how you speak.

It works, too! It correctly pinpointed that I’m from Washington state, although I also got Saint Paul, Minn. as a similar city (must be those early years as a kid spent listening to “Prairie Home Companion” in the car.)

My dialect quiz results via the NYT
My dialect quiz results via the NYT


Back when I was an English major in college, linguistics was my favorite class. I was totally fascinated by the dialectic differences across the states. I remember starting to notice those difference when I was a kid and played with my cousins from California. Even though we all lived on the west coast, there were still some subtle differences in the way my Californian cousins talked.

The Atlantic did an interesting article talking about the New York Times’ most popular story of 2013, which was this quiz. Crazy, right? I love little interactive newsy things like that. In the news biz, we say things like this are “sticky” or have “more shelf life” because readers can return to them again and again.

Last year, I tried to make an interactive quiz for the newspaper I work at, but it didn’t pan out. Maybe, this year is my year to whip out something like this for our local readers! A quiz that tells you what neighborhood you live in?

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