We could spend hours looking at this and not get bored.
Self-described professional linguist and Christian missionary Rick Aschmann spent years creating this painstakingly detailed map of regional American and Canadian dialects.
"This is just a hobby of mine," Aschmann writes on his website. "Some people collect stamps, others collect coins. I collect dialects."
Aschmann's research taught him some hilarious and fascinating things. For example, did you know that in parts of New Jersey, the word "had" doesn't rhyme with "bad?" (We're not quite sure how that's possible, but hey, to each his own.)Among Aschmann's other findings:
- Although many think of Massachusetts as having one distinct dialect, it actually has four.
- Pennsylvania is the most linguistically complex state in the country.
- In the whole U.S., there are about 130 million people for whom the word "cot" rhymes with "caught," and another 220 million for whom the two words are pronounced in ways that don't rhyme.
The map isn't exactly new -- it's been around since at least 2010 -- but Aschmann has been steadily adding to it as people from all over the U.S. send him audio samples of themselves speaking. In addition to the videos people send him, Aschmann says he made the map from information he found on several language websites, from the Atlas of North American English, and also by watching a lot of online videos of people who he says retain their local dialect well, like politicians, gospel singers and NASCAR drivers.
Check out the map below, and visit Aschmann's website for a zoomed-in version (highly recommended).