Overheard this standing in line at a local taco stand. The two were having a long-time-no-see conversation.

Old Redneck (50 something): ...that's Obama's fault.
Young Redneck (20 something): I'm sorry but that's definitely not Obama's fault, it's George Bush's fault - he's the one who gave us the whole mess...
The Tea Party: ...a grassroots citizens’ movement brought to you by a bunch of oil billionaires - from an interesting New Yorker article about the Koch brothers.
The NYTs yesterday had an interesting set of maps showing the voting trends of the presidential election compared to 2004. There was actually a part of the USA that voted even more Republican than '04.

Looking at the map, it reminded me of another map I remember from Robert MacNeil's 'The Story of English' from the 80s. On the MacNeil map there is an American English linguistic group that stretches from the Appalachians moving Southwest and terminating in Texas. This group is like a sash across the middle of Texas - splitting the state into three groups, with the area to the left belonging to Midwestern and Southwestern groups and the area to the right belonging to Deep South groups. A lot of people in Texas have the 'country' twang - familiar from TV, movies, country music, etc. Almost all the people I knew from Midland/Odessa had this accent; also many people I knew from East Texas. The MacNeil map explained this well - this linguistic group reached from the corner of NE Texas to the bottom of the Panhandle and deep into West Texas - where Midland is. Geo. W. Bush has the quintessential speech of this group (IMO). Although, here in Amarillo, 250 miles north, this is not the common speech pattern at all - but of course not unfamiliar.

Looking at the NYTs map, this same area is the only part of the country (besides southern LA and some counties in AZ & AK) that voted more Republican than in '04 - the part that speaks like Geo. W. Bush. I couldn't find the MacNeil map, but here is another American English dialect map.

The only two dialect groups that voted more Republican than '04 was South Midland (this group includes the subgroups Ozark, Southern Appalachian, Smokey Mountain); and Louisiana.

McCain prevailed only in these dialect groups: South Midland; Gulf Southern (including Louisiana); and Rocky Mountain.

Obama made his historic push in dialect groups: Virginia Piedmont and Coastal Southern; Southwestern; and North Midland.



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