Open Thread: How Do You Say These Food Words?


The subject of heated debate [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Last week, The Atlantic published a series of fascinating food dialect maps tracing pronunciation patterns across the country. Words like "crawfish," "mayonnaise," "grocery" and more are the subject of heated regional debate, along with title battles: soda vs. pop, frosting vs. icing, etc.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the maps sparked a firestorm of debate amongst SE staffers, who hail from all over the country. The following is the unedited transcript of our email thread, in which geographic insults were lobbied, turfs were defended, and poor Boston got the short end of the stick.

Maggie Hoffman (origin: West Coast): Could this be a good end of day open thread?

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (origin: East Coast): People from Maine say "melk" instead of milk. That's weird.

Max Falkowitz (origin: East Coast): Maine and the Midwest and inexplicably Robyn.

Niki Achitoff-Gray (origin: East Coast): Apparently I say "water" funny? "Wuhtur" instead of, well, "water."

Jamie Feldmar (origin: Midwest): I would like to state for the record that I DO NOT say "melk."

Carrie Vasios (origin: East Coast): I'm surprised they didn't include this one...I say AH-range, not OR-ange.

Niki Achitoff-Gray: Oh yes yes Max and I were talking about that one. Ahrange and Flahrida.

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt: Oh, in Boston they say pronounce scallop skah-lop and marinade marin-ahd.

Niki Achitoff-Gray: Does Boston even count? It's the linguistic funhouse mirror of America.

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt: Whatever, Mrs. New Yawker.

Burn! Kenji and Niki have since made up, though the city of Boston continues to smart. Let's hear it from you: how do you say some of these words?

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