From the creator of the New York Times dialect quiz that ignited conversations about how and why we say the words we say, a stunning and delightful exploration of American language Did you know that your answers to just a handful of questions can reveal where you grew up? In December 2013, Josh Katz released an interactive dialect quiz in the New York Times that became the most viewed page in the paper's history. Now a graphics editor, Katz harnessed the overwhelming response to that quiz to create Speaking American, an extraordinary and beautiful tour through the American vernacular. How do you pronounce "pecan"? What do you call a long sandwich with varieties of meats and cheeses? Do you cut the grass or mow the lawn? The answers to these questions—and the distinctions they reveal about who says what and where they say it—are not just the ultimate in cocktail party fodder; they are also windows into the history of our nation, our regions, and our language. On page after page, readers will be fascinated and charmed by these stunning maps of how Americans speak as they gain new insights into our language and ourselves. For fans of Eats, Shoots and Leaves and How the States Got Their Shapes, Speaking American is an irresistible feast of American regional speech.
Did you know that your answers to just a handful of questions can predict the zip code of where you grew up? In 2013 Josh Katz accumulated and visually mapped over 350,000 unique survey responses to questions about word choice and pronunciation throughout America. His dialect quiz quickly became the most viewed webpage in the history of the New York Times. InSpeaking AmericanKatz offers a visual atlas of the American vernacular who says what, and where they say it revealing the history of our nation, our regions, and our language."
Author: Allan A. Metcalf
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: 2000
Provides a study of the distinctive characteristics, dialects, cultural innovations, and ethnic eccentricities of American regional English, discussing the unique qualities of language in the South, New England, and the Midwest.
Author: William Labov
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Release Date: 2012-12-17
Genre: Social Science
The sociolinguist William Labov has worked for decades on change in progress in American dialects and on African American Vernacular English (AAVE). In Dialect Diversity in America, Labov examines the diversity among American dialects and presents the counterintuitive finding that geographically localized dialects of North American English are increasingly diverging from one another over time. Contrary to the general expectation that mass culture would diminish regional differences, the dialects of Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Birmingham, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and New York are now more different from each other than they were a hundred years ago. Equally significant is Labov's finding that AAVE does not map with the geography and timing of changes in other dialects. The home dialect of most African American speakers has developed a grammar that is more and more different from that of the white mainstream dialects in the major cities studied and yet highly homogeneous throughout the United States. Labov describes the political forces that drive these ongoing changes, as well as the political consequences in public debate. The author also considers the recent geographical reversal of political parties in the Blue States and the Red States and the parallels between dialect differences and the results of recent presidential elections. Finally, in attempting to account for the history and geography of linguistic change among whites, Labov highlights fascinating correlations between patterns of linguistic divergence and the politics of race and slavery, going back to the antebellum United States. Complemented by an online collection of audio files that illustrate key dialectical nuances, Dialect Diversity in America offers an unparalleled sociolinguistic study from a preeminent scholar in the field.
Author: Richard W. Bailey
Publisher: OUP USA
Release Date: 2012-01-23
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Investigates the history and continuing evolution of American English, from the 16th century to the present, to celebrate the endless variety and remarkable inventiveness that have always been at the heart of our language. By the author of Images of English: A Cultural History of the Language.
Author: Walt Wolfram
Release Date: 2005-10-14
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
American Voices is a collection of short, readable descriptions of various American dialects, written by top researchers in the field. written by top researchers in the field and includes Southern English, New England speech, Chicano English, Appalachian English, Canadian English, and California English, among many others fascinating look at the full range of American social, ethnic, and regional dialects written for the lay person
Your City. Judged A sharp tongued and fierce witted full-color collection of maps of America’s greatest cities in all their brutally honest glory. When you move to a new city you look at a map to get you where you need to be, but a Google Map of San Francisco won’t tell you where you can get “Real Dim Sum” or where “The Worst Trader Joes Ever” is. Or if you’re visiting Chicago, you might want to see the Magnificent Mile, but not know it’s right next to where “Suburbanites Buy Drugs” and “Retired Mafioso.” This is where Judgmental Maps comes in – a no holds barred look at city life that is at once a love letter and hate mail from the very people who live there. What started as a joke between comedian Trent Gillaspie and his friends in Denver, quickly grew into a viral sensation with a rabid and enthusiastic community labeling maps of their cities with names and descriptions we all think of, but are a bit too shy to say out loud. Collected here in a full color, beautifully packaged book with all new, never before published material, Judgmental Maps is laugh out loud funny from New York to Los Angeles, Minneapolis to Atlanta and offending everyone else in between.
Author: Edward McClelland
Publisher: Belt Publishing
Release Date: 2016-12-01
Pittsburgh toilet, squeaky cheese, city chicken, shampoo banana, and Chevy in the Hole are all phrases that are familiar to Midwesterners but sound foreign to anyone living outside the region. This book explains not only what Midwesterners say but also how and why they say it and covers such topics as: the causes of the Northern cities vowel shift, why the accents in Fargo miss the nasality that s a hallmark of Minnesota speech, and why Chicagoans talk more like people from Buffalo than their next-door neighbors in Wisconsin. Readers from the Midwest will have a better understanding of why they talk the way they do, and readers who are not from the Midwest will know exactly what to say the next time someone ends a sentence with eh? ."
Author: Norman Enger
Publisher: Hobo Publishing
Release Date: 2014-07-21
Genre: Literary Collections
This concise and stirring collection of great speeches and writings, from the Revolutionary War era to the present, focuses on key individuals and ideas that have inspired the American people and shaped the history of the nation. Here are essential speeches and writings by leaders and statesmen, explorers and historians, writers and poets, soldiers and entrepreneurs, and men and women of varied backgrounds, from key eras of the nation's history. Together, these voices are powerful, eloquent, poignant, and uniquely American. They capture the breadth and richness of American history. This history is remarkable - first, a few British colonies on the Atlantic coast struggling for independence. Then, the new nation overcomes challenging frontiers to expand westward across the continent. A bitter and tragic Civil War is fought to preserve the Union. Movements for social justice and the principles of individual freedom - the treatment of workers and sailors, emancipation of slaves, and woman's rights-change the nation. The ingenuity, hard work, and perseverance of self-made men drive incredible advances in industry, business, and economic growth. The United States then faces the challenges of global conflict in two world wars and the ensuing search for peace. From this inspiring tapestry of American history, we see the emergence of the United States as a world power and leader of the free world.
Author: Robert Macneil
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Release Date: 2007-12-18
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Is American English in decline? Are regional dialects dying out? Is there a difference between men and women in how they adapt to linguistic variations? These questions, and more, about our language catapulted Robert MacNeil and William Cran—the authors (with Robert McCrum) of the language classic The Story of English—across the country in search of the answers. Do You Speak American? is the tale of their discoveries, which provocatively show how the standard for American English—if a standard exists—is changing quickly and dramatically. On a journey that takes them from the Northeast, through Appalachia and the Deep South, and west to California, the authors observe everyday verbal interactions and in a host of interviews with native speakers glean the linguistic quirks and traditions characteristic of each area. While examining the histories and controversies surrounding both written and spoken American English, they address anxieties and assumptions that, when explored, are highly emotional, such as the growing influence of Spanish as a threat to American English and the special treatment of African-American vernacular English. And, challenging the purists who think grammatical standards are in serious deterioration and that media saturation of our culture is homogenizing our speech, they surprise us with unpredictable responses. With insight and wit, MacNeil and Cran bring us a compelling book that is at once a celebration and a potent study of our singular language. Each wave of immigration has brought new words to enrich the American language. Do you recognize the origin of 1. blunderbuss, sleigh, stoop, coleslaw, boss, waffle? Or 2. dumb, ouch, shyster, check, kaput, scram, bummer? Or 3. phooey, pastrami, glitch, kibbitz, schnozzle? Or 4. broccoli, espresso, pizza, pasta, macaroni, radio? Or 5. smithereens, lollapalooza, speakeasy, hooligan? Or 6. vamoose, chaps, stampede, mustang, ranch, corral? 1. Dutch 2. German 3. Yiddish 4. Italian 5. Irish 6. Spanish From the Hardcover edition.
"A charmingly full, frank, and humorous account of a career dedicated to rigorous lexicographic rectitude. . . .[John Simpson] is an absolute hero." --Lynne Truss, New York Times Can you drink a glass of balderdash? And what do you call the part of a dog's back it can't scratch? The answers to these questions can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary. There is no better guide to the dictionary's many wonderments than its former chief editor, John Simpson. In The Word Detective, an intensely personal memoir and a joyful celebration of English, he weaves a story of how words come into being, how culture shapes language, and how technology transforms words. A brilliant and deeply humane expedition through the world of words, The Word Detective will delight and inspire any lover of language.