While the term “American English” is thrown around all the time, everyone knows there is no such thing as “American English” – this makes Freshman year of college so much fun! Young Americans eager to learn and be brought together from all over the country in the spirit of academia and beer to basically be like, “Oh my god, did you just order a pop? That’s so cute”, “Did you just say y’all? You’re SO redneck”.
A few years ago in my dialectology class we all had to take an online survey being analyzed by researchers from some university. A few years later and it’s finally been fully analyzed, and researchers have published these regional dialect maps, showing in what city, state, or region Americans use a particular term.
It’s interesting that some terms are region-wide while others boil down to just a very small region or state – a packie in Boston, a hoagie only in Pennsylvania. I remember my ex-boyfriend from Texas chiding me for ordering a “plain slice” of pizza instead of a “regular slice” which he swore was the appropriate and mainstream term. Having been a military brat, he’d lived all around the country so felt he had a better basis, but I’m from New York where we practically INVENTED the slice (I’m blatantly trying to get a rise out of some Italians here), so I think I know what I’m talking about. But I argued “plain” is “regular” because a plain slice of pizza is pizza in it’s most basic form – dough, mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce. Anything else is just added onto a “plain” slice. Amirite?