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Speaking American: A History of English in the United States Hardcover – January 23, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0195179347 ISBN-10: 019517934X Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"The story of American English is one of eternal rises and falls in reputation, and Bailey, the author of several books on English, traces our assorted ways of speaking across the country, concentrating on a 50-year period, starting in Chesapeake Bay and ending in Los Angeles." -- The New York Times Book Review


"Places fresh daggers in the heart of the idea that language can somehow be perfected and standardized and celebrates the ability of English to change, adapt, adopt, steal and transform. - Kirkus Reviews


"Fascinating...Grounding this historical journey in specific cities allows Bailey to infuse his narrative of American English with local color." --Ben Zimmer, The Boston Globe


"Bailey's tour of the tongue includes enough colorful language-related anecdotes and enough cultural and historical meat to reward the patient general reader." --Chris Tucker, The Dallas Morning News


"Speaking American is a brilliant kaleidoscopic picture of American English, showing deftly and authoritatively that Americans have always invented and re-invented our language as we please (and in every American place, from sea to shining sea)." --Erin McKean, Founder, Wordnik.com


"Beautifully researched and engagingly written, Speaking American breaks new ground in showing, city by city, the complex human forces that have given American English its individual character and vitality. It will become required reading for anyone interested in the history of English." --David Crystal, author of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language and The Stories of English


"Speaking American is a rich look at the mind-blowingly diverse forces that have twisted and tweaked English on these shores." --Mark Peters, Visual Thesaurus


About the Author


Richard W. Bailey was the author of Images of English: A Cultural History of the Language, Nineteenth-Century English, and Rogue Scholar: The Sinister Life and Celebrated Death of Edward H. Rulloff. Bailey served in the course of his career as the President of the American Dialect Society and of the Dictionary Society of North America, and the associate editor for The Oxford Companion to the English Language. A long-time faculty member at the University of Michigan, he retired as Fred Newton Scott Collegiate Professor of English.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019517934X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195179347
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #604,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Marc on June 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written work tracing the development of American English and ist historical roots. Full of interesting items and observations. The book entails various aspects of the development of American English without "academic" jargon.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Reece on January 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was hoping to learn more about the development of English in America. I did enjoy the read but was dissappointed by the academic writing style.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully written and intelligently selected history of the speech in which a nation of uniquely diverse communities has excpressed itself. One of a kind.
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