How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk: NY Times Dialect Quiz (2013)
Josh Katz, Wilson Andrews
The New York Times’ work How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk, or, because of its sheer ubiquity, simply the “dialect quiz,” became a cultural touchstone nearly immediately after its launch in 2013. The work is both deceptively simple and technologically complex. After you answer a series of questions about the words you use, the interactive graphic returns a map that, more often than not, pinpoints where you live or grew up. The map makes a few guesses at individual cities and then radiates a heatmap out of the region it associates most with the language you use.
The map shows the multifaceted nature of American culture and identity through the use of language — organic regions that don’t neatly fit within state lines. What started as a personal side project of Josh Katz as an extension of his graduate school research was used by tens of millions of visitors over the span of a few weeks after publication, at times receiving so much traffic that the project’s server became overwhelmed. The project quickly became what was at the time the most-viewed piece of content in New York Times history. For its ability to tell you a story about yourself while also drawing a limitless set of maps of cultural geography that, nearly a decade after publication, still delights new readers today, How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk wins a Peabody.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
The New York Times