Defensive Design for the Web: How To Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points
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Coke, Pepsi, and other fizzy soft drinks are generically called “tonic” in Boston, “soda” in New York City, “liqueur” in Montreal, and “pop” pretty much everywhere else in North America west of Utica, New York. What most people in the U.S. call “milk shakes” are “frappes” in Massachusetts and “cabinets” in Rhode Island. And the South’s “y’all” becomes “yins” in Pittsburgh and “youse” in Irish Boston (an artifact from the Irish language, in fact, which has a plural form of “you”). Where I grew up, 40 miles north of New York City, when it rained really hard we described it as “teeming.” A “traffic circle” in New York is a “rotary” in Massachusetts and a “roundabout” in Vermont (and in the UK). A drinking fountain in Massachusetts is called a “bubbler,” a police patrol car is called a “cruiser,” and the little chocolate or candy sprinkles that you put on top of ice cream are called “jimmies.” I love regionalisms, and it’s remarkable that many of them persist despite the forces of homogenization like television, radio, and movies. Do you have any favorite regionalisms?