Novel data presentation has always been something Dr. J. has been fond of.
Similarly, regional dialect differences is also a subject of casual study for Dr. J. He largely has his 7th grade linguistics teacher to blame for this, but he also inherited his old man’s faculty for language. But rather than become a polyglot like the Volgi, he’s is more of a dilettante with a curiosity for regional differences in language. Indeed, Dr. J. and his two closest childhood chums had the soda/pop debate bad when the one moved to New Jersey from Indiana. Mrs. Dr. J. calls a turn-signal a directional. In England, fries are chips and chips are crisps.
This article in Business Insider describes the work of a Ph.D. student, Joshua Katz, who superimposed upon the map of the United States the results of (presumably his mentor) Drs. Vaux and Golder’s lingustic survey. The survey goes beyond the soda/pop/coke debate.
Some are very focused uses of vocabulary. October 30th is ‘Mischief Night’ in Philly and New Jersey. Dr. J. would, as a youth, toilet paper neighbors trees, scribble with soap on their car windows and ring a few doorbells and run. His compatriots in beautiful Camden, New Jersey would have a contest with Detroit yout’s who call it ‘Devil’s Night’ seeing how many abandoned buildings they could set. During Dr. J.’s sophomore year at Ivy University, he received a phone call from Papa J. informing him that Camden won with 109 fires. Yeesh.
The rest of the country, as you can see below, find the whole thing silly and call it October 30th.
And traffic circles:
From the data he created a dialect map (poster link) that compares the rest of the nation to a geographic point that you click upon. Differences are relative, rather than absolute, so, if you click on Philadelphia, the whole country is different by comparison. The differences between NY and Philly as opposed to Nashville and Philly are quantitatively similar, but lingustically different, and those lingustic differences arent shown on the map. Omaha, for example is more similar to more of the nation (by area, not population, having a bigger blast radius). Heck, Bloomfield, New Jersey has a bigger blast radius than Philadelphia. There are plans by Dr. Katz to expand his survey to the other English speaking countries.
|Remember this iconic scene?|
But these lingustic differences between Philadelphia and everywhere else that made Batman’s ability to discern a Philadelphian from others impressive to Dr. J. as a child may be going the way of the dinosaur.
|None other than Dick Clark!|
The Philadelphian accent which based on the language map linked to above, is very unique and local is, like many, being influenced by more northern pronunciations. The process is very slow, but perceptible Dr. J. believes moving away from local to national media via cable and other outlets, folks moving away from home rather than remaining local, and even all cell phone calls being local allowing for broader communication with people with diverse accents all have their role in this. The effect is probably most pronounced in Philadelphia because its accent, as demonstrated by Dr. Katz, is uniquely local, and thus most ripe for untoward outside influences.