An American linguist teaching in England explores the sibling rivalry between British and American English
“English accents are the sexiest.”
“Americans have ruined the English language.”
Such claims about the English language are often repeated but rarely examined. Professor Lynne Murphy is on the linguistic front line. In The Prodigal Tongue she explores the fiction and reality of the special relationship between British and American English. By examining the causes and symptoms of American Verbal Inferiority Complex and its flipside, British Verbal Superiority Complex, Murphy unravels the prejudices, stereotypes and insecurities that shape our attitudes to our own language.
With great humo(u)r and new insights, Lynne Murphy looks at the social, political and linguistic forces that have driven American and British English in different directions: how Americans got from centre to center, why British accents are growing away from American ones, and what different things we mean when we say estate, frown, or middle class. Is anyone winning this war of the words? Will Yanks and Brits ever really understand each other?
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Pam Ward has performed in dinner theater, summer stock, and Off-Broadway, as well as in commercials, radio, and film. An experienced narrator, Pam has recorded many titles for the Library of Congress Talking Books program. She is the recipient of an AudioFile Earphones Award and the prestigious Alexander Scourby Award.
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Excerpted from "The Prodigal Tongue"
Copyright © 2018 Lynne Murphy.
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Table of Contents
1 The Queen's English, Corrupted 1
2 The Wrong End of the Bumbershoot: Stereotypes and Getting Things Wrong 28
3 Separated by a Common Language? 63
4 America: Saving the English Language Since 1607 96
5 More American, More Ænglisc? 127
6 Logical Nonsense 159
7 Lost in Translation 191
8 The Standard Bearers 227
9 The Prognosis 261
10 Beyond Britain and America 289
The Quizzes 345
Quiz Answers 347