OK, are you ready for some discussion?
Here are my thoughts on a selection of questions from the survey. If you haven't taken it yet, go here before you read on.
And for the record, my place of growing-up is Beaverton, Oregon.
2. I grew up saying "pop" exclusively, but somehow, after leaving home, "soda" has crept increasingly into my vocabulary. This distresses me. In any case, "coke" is not an acceptable variant to me, unless you're living overseas. Then it becomes OK for some reason.
3. I say "tennis shoes," but the fun thing is that my brain no longer recognizes it as two separate words, each with their own meaning. Instead, they've merged to become a new word, "tennishooz." I seem to remember my mom saying "tennies," which was always mildly irritating to me. Sorry, mom.
4. I wouldn't even know what this is except that we did a huge project on them in 5th grade. And we called them crawdads, thank you very much. During that 5th grade unit, I think I wrote a story for creative writing time about one getting stuck in the cafeteria blender. Lovely.
5. I use "you guys" to the extent that I've taught it to all the English pupils and classes I've had over the past 5+ years.
7. I had no idea there was a phrase for this phenomenon. Call people who live in the South what you will, but wow, have they got a colorful description for everything!
8. Again, I experienced a shift here. It used to be "sleepies," but I find myself saying "eye boogers" more and more. I think it might be because it's simpler with Miriam - she understands boogers, eye boogers, and most recently ear boogers. That's what we call built-up ear wax, but when we call it boogers, she puts up less of a fight when we get it out. Oh, and terms involving profanity - does anyone really use those?!?
9. OK, one more creepy shift. I grew up saying "aunt" like "ant," but now say "auhnt." I'm not exactly sure about this, but I think it happened when we moved to Russia and I wanted to be more precise about the term to non-native speakers of English. So I started saying "auhnt." And now I still do.
A similar thing happened to me with the word "mobile." Every country we've been to besides America pronounces it something like "mow-bile." So that's how I say it. And then we come back to America and apparently, it's "mow-bull." Who knew?
10. I might still say "garage sale" except that Tucsonians DON'T HAVE GARAGES! What is up with that, anyway?
12. Definitely traffic circle. Now that we've determined what they're called, if only Americans could figure out how to use them...
18. I say "dinner," but sometimes I wish I said "supper." It sounds so cute and makes me feel like I'm Laura Ingalls (a recurring childhood fantasy, actually).
25. More wishful thinking: I say "binky" but I wish I said "dummy."
26. I called this "take-out" until we went to the Middle East, where it's called, in all seriousness, "take-away" (in English and everything).
27. I had not thought of these creatures in ages, so I really couldn't remember what I called them. I hope I didn't mess up their survey too much.
29. Does anyone else remember that Mathnet? Definitely "ATM - automated teller machine."
Please share your thoughts! I am so interested in dialect variation and I would love to hear what you say and why.