This art deco resturant serves "Steaks", which is the local vernacular for "Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sandwiches".
The water tower at Florence Mall welcomes travelers leaving Ohio to the South by invoking the vernacular expression "Y'all". The tower evokes southern hospitality along Interstate 75, an important north-south transportation corridor.
This water tower, just south of Cincinnati uses a local expression "Y'all" to indicate to motorists traveling south on Interstate 75, that they have entered "the South".
Customers wait in line at a hoagie shop in Philadelphia, where the specialty is a "Philly Cheese Steak" sandwich.
This pizza parlor also sold "hoagies" a regional term for a large, bready sandwich.
Hoagies are what folks from New Jersey and other parts of the Mid-Atlantic call a "submarine" type sandwich.
Hoagies are a favorite sub-style sandwich in Philadelphia.
Sal's Pizza, in Philadelphia, also sells "steaks" which is shorthand for "Chesesteak Sandwiches" and Hoagies, which is the local vernacular for "submarine sandwich".
This t-shirt, photographed on Olvera Street, a historic-themed tourist district in Los Angeles points to the importance of language and the challenges of appropriating terms.
Laundry Facility: note this location still advertises a pay phone in 2010
An archway leading to a high school football field in Alabama. Football is an exceptionally important component of small town life and community identiity.
This road sign in Arkansas delta region seems to point to the local dialect.
A mock up of a Middle Eastern village helps Marines train for deployment to places like Iraq.
This sign makes use of the "at" to heighten the snob appeal of the shopping center.
This church features services in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Alhambra is a large Asian ethnoburb.
Sign in the Mojave Desert. "Wash" is used for many water courses California, especially those that are typically dry.
This roadside rest stop bears the far western vernacular term for small stream, "wash".
This Art Deco pharmacy now serves a large Armenian population and the signs in the window reflect the changing demographics of the region.
This market/restaurant in Glendale, California has many bi-lingual signs on it. The name Ararat also evokes Armenia and is suggestive of nationalist sentiment; though it is Southern California.
Indio California once employed an Arabian Nights theme to promote tourism. It was abandoned, but the landscape remains.
Indio California once employed an Arabian Nights theme to promote tourism. It was abandoned, but the landscape remains....even if sometimes it doesn't translate well.
Indio California once employed an Arabian Nights theme to promote tourism. It was abandoned, but the landscape remains. The alcohol sales pitch here adds irony.
The font style and the gold paint evoke an earlier era of retail. This clothier appeared to be profitable even in 2011..
This sign suggests a partial truth about the Los Angeles River.
This Philly Steak shop in Burbank, California claims authentic steak sandwiches. Note the refrerence to Hoagies. It reminds the visitor of the variety of immigrant streams that in in Los Angeles.
This narrow street scene in Montreal was designed during a time when pedestrian traffic was more important than vehicular traffic. Note the French language on the restaurant sign and the snow covered, narrow sidewalks.
This street in Montreal was this city's Chinatown and boasted some very linguistically talented shop keepers.
A street scene in Montreal, Canada. Note the stop sign declaring French Canada's linguistic resistance and/or retaliation against English Canada.
Small white churches dominate the New England landscape. This is Hartland Four Corners, a replicated town name, so common in New England
The font on each sign competes with the overall meaning communicated by this landscape.
This highway sign reminds us of the 19th century fascination with the Classical Age, and suggests Polish migration later in the century.
Sign indicates not only the vernacular region, but a probable former transportation corridor rest stop.
This franchise, despite its name, is popular around Las Vegas.
Highway sign indicating the ethnic heritage of the region
Pennsylvania Dutch Forebay Barn bearing both linguistic and architectural cues to this region's Germanic heritage.
This sign suggests the manner in which marketers appealed to class and taste in years past.
Houses such as these are common in working class neighborhoods in the Midwest and East. This group of four is a row house.
This sign reflects the regional dialect through the use of the word "Grinders". The combination of Italian and Greek cuisine reflects the style of diversity in New England.
This sign in West Texas bears the regional term for a stream