How Closely Can Your Word Choice Identify Your Hometown?

Pretty closely, it seems. The New York Times, based on the 2002 Harvard Dialect Survey, has created a set of questions about the vocabulary you use. Based on the 25 answers you give, it can come close to pinpointing the three areas from which you hail.

The quiz was kind of tough for me, as my personal vocabulary is peppered with my Pittsburgh-born grandmother’s “you’uns,” my years in Memphis where I learned to say “Coke” instead of “pop,” and my years traveling as an opera stage manager.

Still, it pretty much came down to what I called the night before Halloween, as the image below points out. Devil’s Night nailed it. I was born 30 minutes from Detroit.

A screenshot of an auto-generated graphic showing the three cities most likely to be my hometown based on my answers to preferred vocabulary words for certain items or events

Image: New York Times,




This entry was posted in Data, Delight. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How Closely Can Your Word Choice Identify Your Hometown?

  1. Mari says:

    I was amazed at this test (and we are currently talking about it, unprompted by this post in the lounge as I type) because it pin pointed San Francisco, Cleveland, and Greenville, SC, three cities I have lived in within the last five years. I would not have said y’all was proper grammar three years ago but now I use it regularly. It is so interesting how language can change!

    I want to hear stories about being a traveling opera stage manager! That sounds so amazing!

Comments are closed.