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Publication of the American Dialect Society #86: Milestone in the History of English in Americaby Allen Walker Read
Synopses & Reviews
A collection of essays by one of the premier historians of American English, "Milestones in the History of English in America" is a remarkable introduction to Allen Walker Read's work and the ways in which archival materials can illuminate linguistic history. This volume is divided into four sections: the emergence of American English as a distinct form and the attitudes of both Britons and Americans toward its development; the history of the most distinctive and widespread American coinage, "O.K."; euphemism and obscenity; and an autobiographical section that provides a fascinating portrait of a remarkable American scholar.
Book News Annotation:
This collection centers on the work of Allen Walker Read, an employee of the Dictionary of American English at the University of Chicago in the 1930s. Read's first nine essays pick up themes in Early American English such as the impact of ethnicity on language attitudes, English on both sides of the Atlantic, distinguishing features of American talk, and milestones in the branching of British and American English. Subsequent discussion includes the history of , taboo words (including the history of fuck), and Read's autobiographical account about his development as a linguist, presented in two addresses to the renegade Linguistic Association of Canada and the US, and to the American Dialect Society. Articles are preceded by introductory remarks from the editor, and the volume includes a bibliography of Read's papers.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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