At the New York Times, Josh Katz is a graphics editor with a master’s in statistics from NC State University. New York Times Maps and Dialect Quiz based on a statistical algorithm developed by his passion for data visualisation.

In the diverse landscape of American linguistics, “Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk” stands out as a comprehensive guide to understanding the intricacies of regional dialects.

Authored by Josh Katz, this book offers readers a delightful journey through the linguistic nuances that make American English so unique.


Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk

One of the creators of the New York Times dialect quiz, this book is an engaging look at American language through the eyes of a graphic designer.

Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk TAKEN BY N.Y.T

Your answers to a few simple questions can tell a lot about who you are and where you grew up. When Josh Katz published an interactive dialect quiz in the New York Times in December 2013, it became the most-viewed page in the paper’s history.

The overwhelming response to Katz’s quiz inspired him to create Speaking American, a stunning visual tour of American slang. How do you say “pecan” in English? Long sandwich made up of various types of meats and cheeses?

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Do you use a lawnmower or a weed-whacker? When it comes to conversation starters, these questions aren’t just great conversation starters, but also windows into our nation’s history, regions, and our own language.

Astonishing maps of how Americans speak will enthral and charm readers as they learn more about our language and ourselves.

About the Author – Josh Katz:

A graphics editor for The New York Times, Katz possesses a keen eye for detail and a passion for linguistics. His intrigue with the regional dialects of the United States led him to pen “Speaking American,” providing readers with visual representations and explanations of American linguistic diversity.

Originally Published:

The book was first introduced to the public in October 2016, and since then, it has captivated linguistics enthusiasts, educators, and casual readers alike.

What Sets It Apart:

“Speaking American” isn’t just about words and pronunciations. It delves deeper into the sociolinguistic fabric of the US, uncovering why people in certain areas say “soda” while others prefer “pop” or “coke.”

Through a series of colorful maps and detailed explanations, Katz paints a vivid picture of American dialects and their evolution.

Price and Where to Buy:

While the price can vary based on the retailer and edition (hardcover or paperback), “Speaking American” is generally available in the range of $15 to $25.

Prospective buyers can find it on major online book retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Bookshop. Additionally, local bookstores and libraries might house this gem for those who prefer a tactile reading experience.

Language and Release:

Written in accessible English, the book is designed to appeal to both linguistics aficionados and those with a casual interest in regional dialects. Since its 2016 release, “Speaking American” has enjoyed positive reviews and has been referenced in academic circles and popular media.

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More than 350,000 people took Josh Katz’s 2013 dialect quiz, making it the paper’s most popular page ever. The survey’s findings informed this set of visually arresting maps illustrating regional differences in how key concepts are referred to across the United States.

Where else except “yard sale,” “garage sale,” and “rummage sale” would you hear the term “tag sale” used to describe a sale of used home goods? Where would you say “tennis shoes” would be more appropriate than “sneakers”?

These and other problems regarding American English are addressed by Katz’s maps and explanations. “Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk” is more than just a book; it’s a linguistic adventure.

Josh Katz masterfully takes readers on a journey through the vast linguistic landscape of the United States, highlighting the quirks and intricacies that make American English so fascinating. For those curious about why Americans speak the way they do, this book is an essential read.