Twitter Shows Nation's Regional Accents

Linguists think that's pretty 'koo'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2011 4:52 PM CST
In this June 23, 2010 file photo, a Twitter sign hangs at the offices of Twitter Inc. in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(Newser) – The constant stream of communication being published by Twitter users has provided linguists with a window into regional dialects, the AP reports. Carnegie Mellon researchers examined 380,000 tweets from a week in March and found different patterns of speech for different regions. "I think that it shows is that people really have a need to communicate their identity—their cultural identity and their geographic identity in social media," says the lead researcher.

Some examples:

  • New York City residents often use "suttin" for "something," "youu" for "you" and "II" for "I."
  • Northern Californians use "koo" for "cool," while Southern Californians like "coo."
  • To describe how tired they are, New Yorkers like "deadass" as an adjective, Northern Californians use "hella," and LA residents use the abbreviation "af" after the word (as in, "I'm tired as f---")
  • Not surprisingly, "y'all" shows up a lot in the South, while its Pennsylvania equivalent, "yinz" is big in the Pittsburgh area.

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