The Word on the Street: Fact and Fable about American English
In The Word on the Street, John McWhorter reveals our American English in all its variety, beauty, and expressiveness. Debunking the myth of a "pure" standard English, he considers the speech patterns and accents of many regions and ethnic groups in the U.S. and demonstrates how language evolves. He takes up the tricky question of gender-neutral pronouns. He dares to ask, "Should we translate Shakespeare?" Focusing on whether how our children speak determines how they learn, he presents the controversial Ebonics debate in light of his research on dialects and creoles. The Word on the Street frees us to truly speak our minds. It is John McWhorter's answer to William Safire, transformed here into everybody's Aunt Lucy, who insists on correcting our grammar and making us feel slightly embarrassed about our everyday use of the language. ("To whom, " she will insist, and "don't split your infinitives!") He reminds us that we'd better accept the fact that language is always changing - not only slang, but sound, syntax, and words' meanings - and get on with the business of communicating effectively with one another.
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THE INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING: SENTENCE STRUCTURE OF
BLACK ENGLISH Black English is perhaps best known, however, for its use of
the verb to be. At this point, then, we will pass from Black English sounds to
This is because in a language like Ewe, ko "tall" is not an adjective, but a verb.
What ati ko literally means is not "the tree is tall," but "the tree 'talls'." In the
sentence ati ko, it naturally looks like an adjective to us because it is an adjective
in the ...
Finally, the done past has also been attributed to West African languages on the
basis of a usage of the verb finish in many of them, such as in Edo of Nigeria: O-
rhi- ere fo. he- take- it finish He has taken it. (Black English He done took it.) ...
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The word on the street: fact and fable about American EnglishUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
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
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The Linguistic Melting Pot
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Other editions - View all
The Word on the Street: Debunking the Myth of "pure" Standard English
John H. McWhorter
Limited preview - 2001
Word On The Street: Debunking The Myth Of A Pure Standard English
Limited preview - 2009