Do You Speak American Language Summary

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The PBS website, “Do You Speak American” is broken off into four sections with interesting topics. The first section is titled “Words That Shouldn’t Be.” The title is not only meant to intrigue the reader, but it also gives us an idea of what we will find when we click on this section. This section’s primary focus is the invention of new words and the way language is a social phenomenon. In the subsection titled, “ Sez Who” Walt Wolfram says that language changes, “not by the media; it’s the middle class.” Within this section we also find “The Power of Slang.” Not only is slang described as establishing a sense of commonality, but it is also a core element of youth culture. One of the subsections also goes as far as to describe a character in a tv …show more content…
Another subsection that captivated my attention and that left me puzzled was “Standard American English.” If there are so many varieties of American English, I would think that ‘Standard American English’ would also vary depending on the location. The websites states that, “American Heritage suggests there’s no single, universally accepted standard for how to speak or write American English. The fourth section, “What Speech Do We Like Best” is not only based on language as a reflection of the speaker, but it is also about the biases people have about the way language should be. In “Correct American,” linguist Edward Finegan writes a compelling argument in favor of descriptivism because he believes that there is no right or wrong when it comes to language. Grammarians should only “aim to describe rather then prescribe linguistic forms and their uses.” We use language to express ourselves and that is a good thing, but language can also create separations between people by creating prejudices. On a different note, the fourth section of website is a lot more positive. Just the title makes me think of language having a brighter

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