Jim "the Mad Monk" Crotty has spent a dozen years on the road traveling around the United States, getting under the skin of the communities in order to discover what makes their wild hearts tick. The fruit of these labors is Monk: The Mobile Magazine
, a singularly quirky quarterly publication, coproduced with co-Monk Michael Lane, which spotlights a different community in each issue. How to Talk American
is the outgrowth of Monk
's hilarious "How to Talk" column, and if you thought you knew how to speak American, well, fegedaboutit (New York), that's monkey (Kentucky). In addition to the lowdown on speaking like an Alaskan, Las Vegan, New Yorker, and Seattleite, Crotty gives up the verbal goods on copspeak, Deadheadian, diner lingo, ecobabble, gutter-punk, Hollywoodese, street slang, and trucker talk. And that's just the beginning. To whet your appetite, these words all mean "cool": crazy, cold-blooded, phat, tight, cuspy, total family kine, fierce, full on, hella, sick, raw, tonar, yar. And these mean "not cool at all": schwag, jurassic, skank. Or at least they did yesterday.
From Library Journal
Crotty has cruised the United States in his "monkmobile" for the past 12 years while coauthoring Monk, an alternative travel magazine. Based on his "how to talk" column, this "guide to our native tongues" is an uneven mix of possibly useful words and gratuitous mockery of regional accents. Some jargon definitions are straightforward, others carry value-laden remarks, and enough errors of basic fact in the text jeopardize the validity of the whole (e.g., a quote by Willie Sutton is attributed to John Dillinger, and Michael Dukakis rather than Walter Mondale is listed as losing to Reagan in 1984). There are no surprising or particularly new terms here, and some are either defined incorrectly (e.g., beltway as "the area inside I-495/95" in Washington, D.C.) or are not unique to an area (e.g., to boot a car is not just a Boston phenomenon). Not recommended.?Cathy Sabol, Northern Virginia Community Coll., Herndon
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.