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The prodigal tongue : the love-hate…
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The prodigal tongue : the love-hate relationship between American and… (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2018; vuoden 2018 painos)

– tekijä: M. Lynne Murphy

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
19414110,478 (4.03)14
"An American linguist teaching in England explores the sibling rivalry between British and American English. "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?"-- "An American linguist teaching in England explores the sibling rivalry between British and American English"--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:brett.sovereign
Teoksen nimi:The prodigal tongue : the love-hate relationship between American and British English
Kirjailijat:M. Lynne Murphy
Info:New York : Penguin Books, 2018.
Kokoelmat:Main collection
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The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English (tekijä: Lynne Murphy) (2018)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 14) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Linguists are a difficult lot. As a lifelong lover of English (especially written English) and a copy editor by calling and occasional profession, I'm always drawn to books about the English language, which means that I have to bear the insults that most linguists can't resist flinging toward copy editors, whom they seem to regard as the guardians of ignorance and prejudice against the way people naturally speak. In fact, editors work for employers and not for linguists, which means we're paid to put our clients in a good light by making their text clearer and more pleasing to the average reader. Unfortunately, this often includes adhering to conventions that have no basis in linguistic analysis -- as linguists will tell you at great length.

For whatever reason, however personable and kind the most prominent linguists may be in ordinary life, they also tend to be, well, abrasive. So you've got the pugnacity of John McWhorter, the rantish bullying of Geoffrey Pullum, and the cloying condescension of Kory Stamper, whose Twitter stream is hilarious but whose book is filled with infuriating I-bet-you-didn't-know-that asides. I'm glad to say that Lynne Murphy avoids all these flaws and has written a consistently entertaining, informative, and charming book that goes way beyond the usual list of obvious differences between North American and British English. As an American living in England with an English spouse, she's perfectly equipped not to analyze that divide from a linguistic standpoint, but from the point of view of one who continually encounters surprising differences in her daily life. So we get not just a dry list of equivalent words (the boot = the trunk, ho-hum) but some very intelligent discussions of when both cultures use the same word (such as "hot dog") to mean something very subtly different. (In America, a hot dog must include a frankfurter. In the UK, it's the roll that makes a hot dog, not the meat: it can be any kind of sausage.)

You get a discussion of the impact of lexicographers such as Samuel Johnson and Noah Webster. You get a startling sub-chapter about the completely opposed philosophies about how to teach English to college students. You get endlessly amusing stories about why British complaints about "Americanization" are ill-informed and otherwise all wet. And you get some very informed speculation about the future of the English language in the UK and around the world. Surprise: it's not likely to become "more American" after all!

All that's lacking in this book is an index of terms so that one can look up a particular phrase, whether American or British. It's a real shame, because in depth and number of examples, The Prodigal Tongue has my British/American Language Dictionary (1984) all beat. Highly, highly recommended to all lovers of English throughout the world, wherever they may read it. ( )
  john.cooper | Aug 28, 2021 |
A nice overview of the differences between British and American English, along with some speculation about where English might be going. It should be a must read for any American–British partnerships, as it covers many (though not all) of the differences that my spouse (English) and I (American) have gradually worked through on our own. (In part, by our accents chipping away at the others’, so that she no longer sounds quite English to British people, and I sound weird enough that Americans aren’t sure about me, either.) ( )
  cmc | Aug 15, 2020 |
Differences and similarities between (mainly) English English and American English, how each variety is seen by speakers of the other, and how all that is changing.

Anybody who has read the author's blog at all regularly will know what to expect: a look at what people actually say and write and how that has changed to bring the two varieties closer together or push them further apart rather than jeremiads about language degeneration based on no more than gut feeling.

Something anyone feeling the urge to pontificate about language should read first. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Apr 8, 2020 |
Very well written, modern, and current, this book destroyed a lot of my prejudices in regards to differences between the so-called American and British English. ( )
  pivic | Mar 21, 2020 |
i thoroughly enjoyed this book, underlined practically every page and will love to read it again at some point in the future. I learnt a lot about what brings American and British English together - and apart- and I learnt a lot of fallacies that exist concerning the language. It made me laugh a lot and it made me wonder! It is also written in a very nonchalant style, so even if you aren't a linguist, it will not feel like a dry read at all. It even comes with quizzes at the end! ( )
  enlasnubess | Feb 26, 2020 |
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"An American linguist teaching in England explores the sibling rivalry between British and American English. "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?"-- "An American linguist teaching in England explores the sibling rivalry between British and American English"--

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