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May 30, 2006
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I think it would be interesting to figure out in just how many regions people actually use the phrase "all the sudden." AndyS has pinpointed them as being in the Midwest. Joe says the phrase is used by Northerners in the UK. Dave Rattigan says it is mainly heard in "southern states," specifying Mississippi.
I come from Acadiana, or "Cajun Country," (located in Central Coastal Louisiana) and also use this phrase colloquially. While many outsiders may argue that this region is included under the category "southern states," the Cajun dialect and the dialects spoken by those with the Southern accent/drawl are so different that their speakers make fun of each other. Furthermore, the person who pointed out that I was incorrect in saying "all the sudden," is actually from the New Orleans area, which is also in the South, but once again, has its own dialect.
In short, we have pinpointed the Midwest, the Northern UK, Mississippi, and Acadiana. I would be interested to know what other regions/dialects in the English-speaking world commonly use the colloquial phrase "all the sudden."
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