Made in America

Made in America

An Informal History of the English Language in the United States

Book - 1994
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Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c1994
ISBN: 9780688103125
068810312X
Branch Call Number: 420.973 Bry
Characteristics: xii, 417 p

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Jan 31, 2014

Made in America: an Informal History of the English Language of the United States --- by Bill Bryson. This book does have a lot to say about the English language as it developed in the US. More specifically, it has a lot to say about the vocabulary that Americans use. And as such, this book, somewhat long in the tooth though it may have become since it was originally published back before the turn of the century (that’s the start of the twenty-first century) would shine light on the borrowings, invention, and redefinition of English words into everyday usage. What I found even more informative however, is the fact that Bryson anchors these words, old or newly forged, in the context of the time and place during which they make their appearance and as such, the book becomes a kind on social history of the US. Bryson writes of the Mayflower pilgrims and what they did for US English in light of the American environment that awaited their arrival; their values and how they perceived their new surroundings. The vocabulary was enlarged and enriched by many historical changes: travel in America; eating fast food; advertising; even sex and Bryson looks at them all. This book is engaging and at times even whimsically humorous. It was not be an action packed novel but it is a good read.

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