Park Your Car In Harvard Yard

I’m confident this will be one of my longer entries. I’m taking the time to relax and browse around the web and found some really fun stuff posted on a web log. The genealogy on this piece of information isn’t going to be complete – it’s not that important how I got there.

Davezilla.com is an entertaining site. I haven’t had the time to poke around in it thoroughly but the tone is light and the content varied. I expect I’m going to spend more time there. The site has been around for a long time and has a good deal of content. He has a site of the week – a great idea – referencing an offbeat study. That started me on this tangent.

When Uncle Tom and Aunt Carol lived on the east coast we used to have fun mimicking the dialect of everyone. We weren’t very good at it but it was entertaining. It’s hard to spell but the title above – Park your car in Harvard Yard – was one of many words and expressions we tossed around. At the other extreme is the deep south. We took a trip to Florida one year to visit friends and stopped several times along the way. One of my favorite memories is of trying to order food at a drive up window. The speaker was poor and the dialect and accent of the person at the other end challenging to comprehend. We had fun with it and did get our food but it illustrates how big the differences can be even when traveling only a few hundred miles.

Pop v. Soda is the site title and it covers the classic question – What label do you use when ordering a carbonated beverage. I say coke – abusing the trademarked name and providing even more evidence that I am a victim of the pop culture. I watched too much TV – and too many commercials as a child. But I have company. Sadly, people who use the word Coke constitute less then 19% of the respondents. I believe there was a flaw in the study but I’ll have to leave that for now. If you look at the graphical pictures you can see that the Coca Cola company at one point did a great job with there marketing in the south. You can almost visualize the tentacles spreading out from Atlanta. Now why someone raised in Ohio would get so well indoctrinated is a mystery to me.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. I followed the links referenced above to an even more interesting if not more serious site from Harvard University which provides a broader study. Someone took the time to conduct an on line survey of dialect and accents. How do you pronounce CrayonCaramel? How do you refer to your paternal grandfather (and as you might expect I’m nowhere on this survey question? There are a bunch of them and worth reviewing.

The D.A.R.E. promotes a print based dictionary. Unfortunately I did not see where the information is available on line. It looks as though there is a very large volume of material published here.