Synopses & Reviews
Is the growing influence of Spanish threatening to displace English in the United States? Are America's grammatical standards in serious decline? Has the media saturation of our culture homogenized our speech?
These and other questions catapulted Robert MacNeil and William Cran, coauthors of the language classic The Story of English, on a journey that took them around the country in search of answers. Do You Speak American?, the companion volume to a PBS special, is the tale of the surprising discoveries they made while interviewing a host of native speakers and observing everyday verbal interactions across the country. Examining the histories and controversies surrounding both written and spoken American English, MacNeil and Cran address highly emotional anxieties and assumptions about our language-and offer some unpredictable responses.
With insight and wit, MacNeil and Cran bring us a compelling follow-up to The Story of English that is at once a celebration and a potent study of our singular language.
PRAISE FOR THE STORY OF ENGLISH
"Highly enjoyable . . . A first-rate introduction to one of the most fascinating of subjects."--The New York Times
"Rarely has the English language been scanned so brightly and broadly in a single volume."--San Francisco Chronicle
A real and linguistic travelogue through the United States by the authors of the bestseller The Story of English. Tie-in to the PBS-TV special Do You Speak American hosted by MacNeil and scheduled to air 1/5/05.
The companion volume to a PBS special, this is the tale of the surprising discoveries the authors made while interviewing a host of native speakers and observing everyday verbal interactions across the country. High school & older.
About the Author
ROBERT MacNEIL and WILLIAM CRAN are the coauthors of The Story of English (with Robert McCrum). The coanchor of PBS's The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour until his retirement in 1995, Robert MacNeil is also the author of two volumes of memoir and three novels, including, most recently, Breaking News. He lives in New York City.