On How Technology Has Changed the Way We Discover Dialects


Overall, yes, I appreciate how easy the Internet makes it for people to discover dialects and regionalisms. Not just learning of others’, but of learning of your own unique phrasings and common idioms and vowel mergers.

But the change is losing something too, and that’s worth mention. Think, now, of going through your whole college career without that night of hanging out in the dorm lounge, and discovering, in a moment of giddy delight for your friends, a moment which earns you a nickname that lasts intensely for two weeks and then makes occasional reappearances for the rest of your four years, that it is only people from your half of Livingston County, New Jersey (plus a zone around New Danzig, Oklahoma) who have ever called mayonnaise “sandwich gravy”. I don’t know if this is the world we would choose, but it’s the one we’re coming to live in.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

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