"If Shakespeare were alive today, he'd sound like an American."
"English accents are the sexiest."
"Americans have ruined the English language."
"Technology means everyone will have to speak the same English."
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?
This title is part of (or scheduled to be part of) the following subscriptions:
You can find this title in the following lists:
Click the Download button to download a copy of the MARC file.
Enter your FTP details below to send the MARC export file via FTP.
by Mel C. Miskimen
by Lynne Ewing
by Lynne McTaggart
by Lynne Graham
by Lynne Hugo
by Lynne Truss
by Lynne Barasch
"Narrator Pam Ward's clipped, wry tone is an excellent match for author and linguist Lynne Murphy's sharp analysis of how and why British English and American English came to be such different languages. She also channels Murphy's occasionally acid remarks on her own experience of speaking American English in England, a country where an editor was once chastised her for using the American term "cupcake" instead of the British "fairy cake." Of course, it turns out that lots of Americanisms are imports from across the Pond and vice versa, so, really, we should just get along. Meanwhile, Murphy's erudite, amusing, and--fair warning--detailed, list-filled book speaks to our mutual incomprehension. A.C.S. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
Sign up for our email newsletter