CHICAGO — From “soda” to “pop” and “clicker” to “remote control,” Americans know that different regions of the country often have their own vocabulary for common objects. But when it comes to the “sneakers vs. tennis shoes” debate, Chicagoans are an outlier and prefer to say “gym shoes.” Along with…Cincinnati?!
Take a look for yourself. A map from New York Times graphics editor Josh Katz’s book “Speaking American” that recently went viral on Twitter pretty much says it all.
Never in my life have I been so caught off-guard by a 'regionalisms for certain terms' map. TENNIS SHOES? ALL OF YOU SAY TENNIS SHOES? pic.twitter.com/uXJWZhILed
— Elizabeth Minkel (@elizabethminkel) July 11, 2017
Twitter user Elizabeth Minkel, who sent the tweet, couldn’t believe that so many people say “tennis shoes” and we can’t either; but back in 2013, the New York Times said they analyzed responses from 350,000 people who took their popular “dialect quiz.”
Some other clear giveaways of being from the Midwest include saying “garage sale” instead of “yard sale,” “you guys” instead of “y’all,” “garbage can” instead of “trash can,” and two syllable “caramel” instead of three syllables.
So, do you say “gym shoes” or something else? Take our poll below: