“My aunt makes hats all the time anymore.” “The car needs washed.” “I so might run this race with you.” Relax, grammar nerds. There is no need to vomit with rage at these apparent abuses of the English language. These strange sentences are merely examples of the colloquial expressions collected by Yale’s Grammatical Diversity Project. Through nationwide surveys and online crowdsourcing, Yale’s diligent researchers set out to catalog as many weird, regionally-specific phrasings as they could find throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and parts of Canada. “I so might run this race with you,” for instance, is an example of what Yale deems the “dramatic so,” a California specialty which also turns up frequently in New York. Surprisingly, grammatical diversity has not been the subject of much academic attention previous to the Yale study, which finds that grammar is further affected by age, ethnicity, and social class. Of course, anyone who has ever traveled beyond the borders of his or her home state might have made the same basic observations.
But now, thanks to Yale, there is a clickable online map which allows users to easily find examples of strange expressions particular to certain English-speaking cities, states, or regions. Each such phrase is given its own red location marker on the map. In Utah, for example: “He said I might could call purchasing and order it through someone else.” Or in Florida: “I ain’t never had no trouble with none of ‘em.” Or in Pennsylvania: “She really likes cuddled.” Yes, it’s a big, grammatically diverse world out there to explore. And for those who would prefer to digest this information in guide form rather than map form, Yale has your back.
[via Daily Mail]