Do You Speak American? Essay

1058 Words Oct 6th, 2015 null Page
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 who introduces new words into her shows and thus challenges “linguistic taboos.” The next section titled, “From Sea to Shining Sea,” reminds me of “America the Beautiful” song. One of the sections that caught my eye was title, “Official American.” I had never really thought about the difference between officially recognized languages and official languages. “Half the countries of the world have an official language,” except the U.S. It is possible that all of the varieties of American English have something to do with this. 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’…

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