All posts by Brandon McPeak

All-American Dialects by Richard Lederer

As I read Richard Lederer’s essay about all the dialects across the United States, it really made me realize how many various dialects there actually are in this great country of ours. I don’t think it ever occurred to me that there were so many. I always assumed your general, northern, southern, east coast, west coast, mid-west, and other general areas and that was it. I never thought that there were so many subdivisions of these dialects and so many branch offs in each state. I knew a couple people from Michigan and we would always get in arguments about if it was “soda” or “pop”. They would always say me and all my friends were wrong and that they knew what it really was because they were from Michigan they said it right up there. Of course, my friends and I always argued back and said that they were in the south and not in Michigan anymore and down here it’s “soda” The story about the girl suffering from amnesia at the truck stop in Missouri really shocked me. It is amazing to think that someone could listen to her speech and be able to tell not only what state she was from, but the exact part of that state. I would have never thought that to have been possible and never imagined she would be able to find her family again. Also, the Biblical stories about Gileadites using dialect to be able to tell who the enemy was really stood out to me as well. I went to a small Baptist school my entire life and never heard of these two stories, so to read these for the first time here came as a bit of a surprise. I never truly realized how many dialects and the importance of them until I read this essay, but I now understand how important and helpful they are in everyday life.