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Exploring Language

by
Edition:
11th
ISBN13:

9780321457974

ISBN10:
0321457978
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/1/2007
Publisher(s):
Longman

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Summary

This language reader features thought-provoking readings that explore the various interconnections between language and American society. The text challenges the reader to critically examine how language affects and constructs culture and how culture constructs and affects language. Gender and language Hate speech Language of war Censorship MARKET: General Interest

Table of Contents

Preface xvii
Introduction: Thinking and Reading Critically 1(22)
What Is Critical Thinking?
1(1)
Why Read Critically?
1(2)
How to Read Critically
3(14)
Logical Fallacies—What They Are and How to Avoid Them
17(3)
Exploring the Language of Visuals
20(3)
1 Language and History 23(70)
BEGINNINGS: THE DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGE
25(34)
Exploring the Language of Visuals: Tower of Babel
25(29)
From Hand to Mouth
28(6)
Michael C. Corballis
"What, then, are the advantages of a language that can operate autonomously through voice and ear, rather than hand and eye? Why speech?"
Language and Thought
34(5)
Susanne K. Langer
"Language is the highest and most amazing achievement of the symbolistic human mind. The power it bestows is almost inestimable, for without it anything properly called 'thought' is impossible."
A Brief History of English
39(9)
Paul Roberts
"In 1500 English was a minor language, spoken by a few people on a small island. Now it is perhaps the greatest language of the world...."
Horton Heared a Who!
48(2)
Steven Pinker
"Children's errors are not just anecdotes for grandparents or reminders of long forgotten grammar lessons. They are windows into the workings of language, history and the human mind."
Another Language for the Deaf
50(4)
Margalit Fox
"Imagine a language that can't be written. Hundreds of people speak it, but they have no way to read a newspaper or study a schoolbook in the language they use all day long...that is the situation of the quarter of a million or more deaf people in North America."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: SignWriting
54(5)
PRESERVING VOICES: DEFENDING ANCIENT LANGUAGES
59(34)
Speaking in Tongues
59(8)
James Geary
"There is hard evidence that the number of languages in the world is shrinking: of the roughly 6,500 languages now spoken, up to half are already endangered or on the brink of extinction."
Lost in Translation
67(5)
Soo Ji Min
"More than the rejection of a culture, the death of a language can be a step toward the death of the culture it expresses and embodies....If a language disappears then the cultural evidence disappears also, because it was only embedded in the language."
Tribal Talk
72(3)
Michelle Nijhuis
"Filled with nuance and references to Blackfeet history and traditions, the language embodies a culture."
Say No More
75(9)
Jack Hitt
"Languages die the way many people do—at home, in silence, attended by loved ones straining to make idle conversation."
Let Them Die
84(5)
Kenan Malik
"The whole point of a language is to enable communication....A language spoken by one person, or even a few hundred, is not a language at all. It is a private conceit, like a child's secret code."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: International Mother Language Day
89(4)
2 The Power of Language 93(61)
PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS: COMING INTO LANGUAGE
95(30)
Homemade Education
95(3)
Malcolm X
"In the street, I had been the most articulate hustler out there....But now, trying to write simple English, I not only wasn't articulate, I wasn't even functional."
A Word for Everything
98(5)
Helen Keller
"The beautiful truth burst upon my mind—I felt that there were invisible lines stretched between my spirit and the spirits of others."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: American Sign Language Alphabet
103(20)
My Yiddish
105(7)
Leonard Michaels
"Until I was five, I spoke only Yiddish. It did much to permanently qualify my thinking. Eventually I learned to speak English....To some extent, my intuitions and my expression of thoughts remain basically Yiddish."
Spanish Lessons
112(6)
Christine Marin
"I learned the power of both the English and Spanish language on that [school] band trip."
The Language of Silence
118(5)
Maxine Hong Kingston
"When I went to kindergarten and had to speak English for the first time, I became silent. A dumbness—a shame—still cracks my voice in two...."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: A Child's First Story
123(2)
SPEAKING OUT: INSPIRING CHANGE
125(29)
Seneca Falls Declaration
125(5)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
"The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward women, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: Afghanistan Woman
130(22)
Letter from Birmingham Jail
132(9)
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law."
Ain't I a Woman?
141(2)
Sojourner Truth
"[T]hat little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as man, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman. Where did your Christ come from?"
The Struggle for Human Rights
143(9)
Eleanor Roosevelt
"We must not be confused about what freedom is. Basic human rights are simple and easily understood."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: Margaret Sanger Silenced
152(2)
3 Writers Writing: Words in Context 154(42)
THE WRITING PROCESS
156(21)
Writing for an Audience
156(3)
Linda Flower
"The goal of the writer is to create a momentary common ground between the reader and the writer."
Getting Started
159(5)
Anne Lamott
"The very first thing I tell my new students on the first day of a workshop is that good writing is about telling the truth."
What My Students Have Taught Me About Writing
164(6)
Pamela Childers
"I'm a writer, but I am a better writer than I was when I started writing because of my students."
Forget Ideas, Mr. Author. What Kind of Pen Do You Use?
170(4)
Stephen J. Fry
"Here is a truth to which all writers can attest: Readers are more interested in process than in product."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: The Secret Lives of Fonts
174(3)
FINDING THE RIGHT WORDS
177(19)
The Case for Short Words
177(3)
Richard Lederer
"When you speak and write, there is no law that says you have to use big words. Small words cast their clear light on big things—night and day, love and hate, war and peace, life and death."
Saying Is Believing
180(5)
Patricia T. O'Conner
"The truth is that the reader is always right. Chances are, if something you write doesn't get your point across, it's probably not the reader's fault—it's yours."
How to Write With Style
185(4)
Kurt Vonnegut
Seven friendly tips on the process of writing from one of America's most popular writers.
Always Living in Spanish
189(2)
Marjorie Agosin
"The new and learned English language did not fit with the visceral emotions and themes that my poetry contained, but by writing in Spanish I could recover fragrances, spoken rhythms, and the passion of my own identity."
Clichés, Anyone?
191(2)
James Isaacs
How to make a commencement speech...the old-fashioned way.
The Financial Media's 25 Worst Clichés
193(5)
Jonathan Clements
4 Political Wordplay 196(101)
POLITICALLY SPEAKING
198(40)
How to Detect Propaganda
198(6)
Institute for Propaganda Analysis
"Without appeal to our emotions—to our fears and to our courage, to our selfishness and unselfishness, to our loves and to our hates—propagandists would influence few opinions and few actions."
Politics and the English Language
204(11)
George Orwell
"In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible."
The Pep Talk: Patterns of Persuasion in Political Language
215(10)
Hugh Rank
A respected political communications analyst dissects the patterns of persuasion used by politicians to organize and direct their audiences toward a particular collective action or idea.
Doubts About Doublespeak
225(3)
William Lutz
"Politicians, bureaucrats and merchants all are guilty of confusing the issue with language designed not to communicate."
Answer the &$%#* Question!
228(8)
Trudy Lieberman
"The political interview [is] a dance choreographed by media trainers on the one hand and by unwritten and unspoken rules of acceptable journalistic behavior on the other. Television guests tiptoe around the questions while interviewers lose control....The result: interviews become excuses to practice public relations, and instead of shedding light, they cloud public discourse."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: Presidential Television Ads
236(2)
CASE STUDY: WARSPEAK–LANGUAGE AND CONFLICT
238(23)
Fighting Words: The War over Language
238(5)
Jon Hooten
"While we have haphazardly sprinkled our language with war's metaphors, is it possible that we have collectively forgotten how to think clearly about the literal phenomenon?"
Terrorism and the English Language
243(5)
Deroy Murdoch
"The horror, sadness, and fear of that rotten day [September 11, 2001] quickly unfolded and remain palpable even now...Yet within a week, some incredibly detached language emerged to describe what happened on 9/11."
The Semantics of Murder
248(2)
Amir Taheri
If Islam forbids human sacrifice and suicide, why are suicide bombers so celebrated in many Muslim countries?
A True Jihad or a Sinful War Against Innocents?
250(1)
Jim Guirard
Two editorials from the Wall Street Journal address the language used to describe and justify acts of terrorism, from the words used by the terrorists themselves. Is it murder, or a jihad?
Selling America
251(8)
Sandra Silberstein
An examination of the Ad Council's campaign against hate and intolerance in the aftermath of September 11.
Exploring the Language of Visuals: Americans Stand United
259(2)
LANGUAGE AND THE PRESIDENCY
261(36)
The Rhetorical Presidency
261(8)
Robert E. Denton, Jr. and Dan F. Hahn
"Presidents are special beings. What makes each one special is that they lead us, define us, protect us, and embody us. And they do so, implicitly and explicitly, through communication."
A Nation of Victims
269(4)
Renana Brooks
"George W. Bush is generally regarded as a mangler of the English language. What is overlooked is his mastery of emotional language—especially negatively charged emotional language—as a political tool."
The Making of the Speech
273(6)
D.T. Max
An etymology of the 2,988 words that changed a presidency. President
George W. Bush Discusses Global War on Terror
279(11)
George W. Bush at Kansas State University
"... Part of my decision-making process...rests upon this fact: that there is an enemy which is relentless and desirous to bring harm to the American people, because of what we believe in. See, we're in an ideological struggle. It's very important for the students here to understand that there is an enemy which has an ideology....They make decisions based upon their view of the world, which is the exact opposite of our view of the world."
Why JFK's Inaugural Succeeded
290(2)
Thurston Clarke
"Kennedy's imitators have failed to appreciate that the words in his address were only part of its magic....Those who study the speech would do well to pay less attention to the words and more attention to how he wrote the speech and to the relationship between its words and Kennedy's character and experience."
President John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address (January 20, 1961)
292(7)
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy's speech became one of the most quoted and notable presidential speeches in history.
5 Do You Know What I'm Saying? 297(70)
HE SAYS, SHE SAYS: GENDER DIFFERENCES IN DISCOURSE
299(39)
Women Talk Too Much
299(6)
Janet Holmes
"Despite the widespread belief that women talk more than men, most of the available evidence suggests just the opposite. Why is the reality so different from the myth?"
No Detail Is Too Small for Girls Answering a Simple Question
305(2)
Tony Kornheiser
"It is not that women lack the ability to prioritize information, it is that they don't think life is as simple as men do."
Sex Differences
307(6)
Ronald Macaulay
"More nonsense has been produced on the subject of sex differences than on any linguistic topic, with the possible exception of spelling."
He and She: What's the Real Difference?
313(3)
Clive Thompson
"Imagine, for a second, that no byline is attached to this article. Judging by the words alone, can you figure out if I am a man or a woman?"
The Party Line
316(6)
Rachel Rafelman
"Here is a truly interesting fact: When you start canvassing men and women on the subject of their social conversational preferences, you find a great deal of agreement. Ten successful, self-confident men and women ranging in age from mid-twenties to 60-something concurred on two key points. The first, and perhaps most surprising, is that, in mixed company, men are boring. The second: Under similar conditions, women are not."
"I'll Explain It to You": Lecturing and Listening
322(13)
Deborah Tannen
"One situation that frustrates many women is a conversation that has mysteriously turned into a lecture, with the man delivering the lecture to the woman, who has become an appreciative audience."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: Men Are from Belgium, Women Are from New Brunswick
335(3)
LET'S TALK ABOUT IT: CONVERSATION IN ACTION
338(29)
The Social Basis of Talk
338(10)
Ronald Wardhaugh
"Because conversation necessarily has a social basis, we must try to meet each other on common ground."
Some Friends and I Started Talking: Conversation and Social Change
348(4)
Margaret J. Wheatley
"True conversation is a timeless and reliable way for humans to think together. When we don't talk to one another in a meaningful way, we become passive and allow others to tell us what to do."
The Like Virus
352(8)
David Grambs
"The L-word...The war against the usage—well, it wasn't much of a war, alas—has been lost for some time, and we language-conscious losers are all trying to learn to live with the new, disjunctive babble."
The Other Side of E-Mail
360(3)
Robert Kuttner
"E-mail brings a kind of pseudo-urgency that demands instant response. It also creates false intimacies."
'r u online?' The Evolving Lexicon of Wired Teens
363(6)
Kris Axtman
"As in every age, teenagers today are adapting the English language to meet their needs for self-expression. This time, it's happening online....To some, it's a creative twist on dialogue, and a new, harmless version of teen slang. But to anxious grammarians and harried teachers, it's the linguistic ruin of 'Generation IM'."
6 Media Speak 367(76)
AS SEEN ON TV
369(30)
TV News: All the World in Pictures
369(7)
Neil Postman and Steve Powers
"The fact that television news is principally made up of moving pictures prevents it from offering lengthy, coherent explanations of events."
Oh, R-o-ob, The Bad Words Won't Go Away
376(4)
John H. McWhorter
"We obsess over the encroachment of vulgar words into public spaces on pain of a stark inconsistency, one that will appear even more ridiculous to future generations than some."
Is Bad Language Unacceptable on TV?
380(4)
BBC Online
"There's a simple answer to all those complaining. If you don't like it, then don't watch it."
Taking TV's "War of Words" Too Literally
384(4)
Deborah Tantzen
"Everywhere we turn, there is evidence that, in public discourse, we prize contentiousness and aggression more than cooperation and conciliation...everything is posed in terms of battles and duels, winners and losers, conflicts and disputes."
The Entertained Culture
388(8)
Tom Shachtman
"We have become a country of mass audiences A trend toward the convergence of the entertainment and news/information industries has made certain that the language of one sector largely reproduces the practices of the other, and both aim lower, with dire consequences for articulateness."
Two-Headed Monsters
396(3)
From the Columbia Journalism Review
THE LANGUAGE OF ADVERTISING
399(44)
With These Words, I Can Sell You Anything
399(12)
William Lutz
"Advertisers use weasel words to appear to be making a claim for a product when in fact they are making no claim at all."
The Language of Advertising
411(9)
Charles A. O'Neill
"The language of advertising is a language of finely engineered, ruthlessly purposeful messages."
Language Abuse
420(8)
Herschell Gordon Lewis
"Today's marketers throw terms the way they'd throw confetti...and with just about as much impact."
How Tobacco Company "Anti-Smoking" Ads Appeal to Teens
428(4)
Carrie McLaren
"Tobacco is wacko if you're a teen. Unless the advertising geniuses behind the campaign are themselves whacko, surely they knew these ads wouldn't work. The marketers are clearly less interested in curbing teen smoking than in appearing to do so."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: Current Advertisements
432(11)
7 Censorship and Free Speech 443(85)
CENSORSHIP AND BOOKS
446(17)
The Freedom to Read
446(5)
American Library Association
Private groups and public authorities are working to remove books from sale, to censor textbooks, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries.
The 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2005 450 Book-Banning, Real and Imaginary
451(3)
Jeff Jacoby
"Your freedom to read isn't under attack. No censors are stalking you, no library is being stripped. On the contrary never have more books...been more readily available to more people."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: Banned Books Week 2006
454(4)
Is Harry Potter Evil?
456(2)
Judy Blume
"The protests against Harry Potter follow a tradition that has been growing since the early 1980's and often leaves school principles trembling with fear."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: Huckleberry Finn Banned!
458(5)
Author's Afterword from Fahrenheit 451
460(3)
Ray Bradbury
"For it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water-conservationalist, procomputerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics."
BIASED LANGUAGE AND HATE SPEECH
463(35)
Hate Speech
463(7)
Robin Tomach Lakoff
"Language is the problem. We don't know how to legislate hate speech, because we don't really know how to classify any kind of speech, which we would have to do before we could safely legislate against it."
Bias-Free Language: Some Guidelines
470(10)
Rosalie Maggio
"When we use stereotypes to talk about people (Isn't that just like a welfare mother/Indian/girl/old man'), our speech and writing will be inaccurate and unrealistic most of the time."
The Word Police
480(5)
Michiko Kakutani
Ms. Maggio's book supplies guidelines and alternatives to readers intent on using kinder, gentler language. But should All the King's Men be retitled All the Ruler's People?
Crimes Against Humanity
485(8)
Ward Churchill
"Understand that the treatment of Indians in American popular culture is not 'cute' or 'amusing' or just 'good, clean fun.' Know that it causes real pain and real suffering to real people."
Exploring the Language of Visuals: Depictions of the Cleveland Indians' Mascot Chief Wahoo
493(5)
"Nigger": The Meaning of a Word
494(4)
Gloria Naylor
"I was later to go home and ask the inevitable question that every black parent must face—'Mommy, what does "nigger" mean?"'
CASE STUDY: CENSORSHIP AND FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUS
498(30)
The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses
498(6)
Alan Charles Kors
"It is...almost inconceivable that anyone...could live on a college campus unaware of the repression, legal inequality, intrusions into private conscience, and malignant double standards that hold sway there."
Regulating Racist Speech on Campus
504(4)
Charles R. Lawrence, III
Defending racist language in the name of liberty or free speech "has placed the bigot on the moral high ground and fanned the rising flames of racism."
There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It's a Good Thing, Too
508(12)
Stanley Fish
"Free speech...is not an independent value but a political prize, and if that prize has been captured by a politics opposed to yours, it can no longer be invoked in ways that further your purposes, for it is now an obstacle to those purposes."
Who's Undermining Freedom of Speech on Campus Now
520(3)
David Beito, Robert "K.C." Johnson, and Ralph E. Luker
"It isn't surprising that freedom of speech is now under siege. What is new in our academic communities is that it is threatened both from within and from outside them. The internal threat to free speech in academia is posed by 'speech codes.'"
Academic Bill of Rights
523(3)
David Horowitz
Lawyer David Horowitz's "Academic Bill of Rights"
Exploring the Language of Visuals: Free Speech Zone
526(2)
8 The English Language Debate 528(68)
WHAT IS "STANDARD" ENGLISH?
530(45)
Do You Speak American?
530(11)
Robert MacNeil
"The controversies, issues, anxieties, and assumptions swirling around language today [can be] highly emotional and political. Why are black and white Americans speaking less and less like each other? Does Hispanic immigration threaten the English language? Is our exposure to national media wiping out regional differences and causing us all to speak the same? Is the language really in serious decline?"
All-American Dialects
541(6)
Richard Lederer
"One aspect of American rugged individualism is that not all of us say the same word in the same way. Sometimes we don't even use the same name for the same object."
Why Good English Is Good for You
547(10)
John Simon
"The person who does not respect words and their proper relationships cannot have much respect for ideas—very possibly cannot have ideas at all."
Totally Like Whatever, You Know?
557(1)
Taylor Mali
"In case you hadn't noticed,/it has somehow become uncool/to sound like you know what you're talking about?"
Everyone Has an Accent but Me
558(5)
John Esling
"The fact is that everyone has an accent. Accent defines and communicates who we are...[it is] the map that listeners perceive through their ears rather than their eyes...
Viva Spanglish!
563(2)
Lilly Gonzales
"I grew up on the Texas-Mexico border with both Spanish and English, and my Spanglish is the product of that. I spoke Spanish with my parents, Spanglish with my siblings and friends, and English with everyone else. My thoughts are in Spanglish."
Good English and Bad
565(10)
Bill Bryson
"Considerations of what makes for good English or bad English are to an uncomfortably large extent matters of prejudice and conditioning."
SHOULD ENGLISH BE THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OFTHE USA?
575(21)
Bilingualism in America: English Should Be the Only Language
575(5)
S.I. Hayakawa
"Rather than insisting that it is the immigrant's duty to learn the language of this country, the government has acted instead as if it has a duty to accommodate an immigrant in his native language."
Why the U.S. Needs an Official Language
580(5)
Mauro E. Mujica
"Parents around the world know that English is the global language and that their children need to learn it to succeed. English is the language of business, higher education, diplomacy, aviation, the Internet, science, popular music, entertainment, and international travel. All signs point to its continued acceptance across the planet."
Proposal for an American Language Academy
585(2)
John Adams
"In the present century, Latin has been generally laid aside, and French has been substituted in its place, but has not yet become universally established, and, according to present appearances, it is not probable that it will. English is destined to be the next and succeeding centuries more generally the language of the world than Latin was in the last or French is in the present age."
And May He Be Bilingual
587(4)
Julia Ortiz Cofer
"Having come to age within the boundaries of language exiles, and making only brief forays out in the vast and often frightening landscape called the mainstream, it's easy for the newcomer to become ethnocentric."
The Overwhelming Allure of English
591(5)
Gregory Rodriguez
"A generation of large-scale Latin American immigration has turned Spanish into the unofficial second language of the United States....But even with this proliferation of Spanish, the United States is still, in the words of one prominent sociologist, a country that is a 'language graveyard' for foreign tongues."
Credits 596(6)
Index of Authors and Titles 602


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