Word On The Street: Debunking The Myth Of A Pure Standard English

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Basic Books, Mar 6, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 302 pages
Though there is a contingent of linguists who fight the fact, our language is always changing--not only through slang, but sound, syntax, and words' meanings as well. Debunking the myth of "pure" standard English, tackling controversial positions, and eschewing politically correct arguments, linguist John McWhorter considers speech patterns and regional accents to demonstrate just how the changes do occur. Wielding reason and humor, McWhorter ultimately explains why we must embrace these changes, ultimately revealing our American English in all its variety, expressiveness, and power.

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The word on the street: fact and fable about American English

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In the first section of this enlightening book, McWhorter (linguistics, Berkeley) examines language as "a system that is at all times on its way to changing into a different one." Not only are new ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17

Section 9

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About the author (2009)

John McWhorter is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. A specialist in pidgin and Creole languages, he lives in Oakland, California.

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