In December 2013, Josh Katz released an interactive dialect quiz in the New York Times that became the most viewed page in the paper’s history. Now a graphics editor, Katz harnessed the overwhelming response to that quiz to create Speaking American, an extraordinary and beautiful tour through the American vernacular. How do you pronounce “pecan”? What do you call a long sandwich with varieties of meats and cheeses? Do you cut the grass or mow the lawn? The answers to these questions and the distinctions they reveal about who says what and where they say it are not just the ultimate in cocktail party fodder; they are also windows into the history of the US regions and language. 427.973 KAT, 203 pages.

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