Pee-KAHN or PEE-can: Let These Maps Help You Decide

A linguistics student creates regional food dialect maps.

  • Photo: The Atlantic
  • Photo: The Atlantic
  • Photo: The Atlantic

I am from Southern California and I say car-mel, with two syllables. When someone says carra-mel with three syllables, I am usually like, Hold up, what the f**k, stop having a speech impediment and adding extra syllables where they don’t belong. Damn.

My ignorance of the regional variance in food name pronunciation is no longer acceptable, now that these excellent food dialect maps exist. The “heat” maps, created by doctoral student Joshua Katz using data collected by Bert Vaux and Marius L. Jøhndal at the University of Cambridge, display a particular region’s dialect preferences in regard to a specific term. So if you’re wondering who the hell says “pop” instead of “soda,” or which regions even know what the word “cruller” means, please consult them.

According to NBC, “Katz says the project doesn’t account for Alaska and Hawaii, because the states make ‘both the modeling process and the design of the mapping algorithms infinitely more complicated.” Is not including entire data sets because they’re inconvenient now a typical part of the scientific method?

[via The Atlantic]

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