Do you pronounce "pin" and "pen" the same?

If you pronounce pin and pen the same you are almost certainly from the south... or Bakersfield, CA. So many people seemed interested in yesterday's discussion of the Dawn/Don merger, that I thought it might be fun to look at another mappable pronunciation curiousity: pin/pen. Most Americans say these words differently. But in the south, they sound the exactly same. I noticed this phenomenon when visiting Pensacola, Florida—to my ear, people there count seven, eight, nine, tin. Yeah tin, like tin can.  What's cool to me is how precisely this can be mapped. Indianapolis merges pin/pen but Cincinnati does not. Nearly all the south merges, but Savannah, Georgia does not. Mobile-yes. New Orleans-no.  So for fun in the office, ask your friends to pronounce the objects below. Their answer will tell you where they grew up.

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