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Exploring Language,9780321012197

Exploring Language

by
Edition:
8th
ISBN13:

9780321012197

ISBN10:
0321012194
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
8/1/1997
Publisher(s):
Addison-Wesley
List Price: $49.00
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Table of Contents

Rhetorical Contents xvii(8)
Paired Essays xxv(8)
Preface xxxiii
1 COMING TO LANGUAGE 1(58)
LANGUAGE BASICS AND BEGINNINGS
5(25)
Language and Thought "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."
5(6)
Susanne K. Langer
The Language Instinct "Language is not a cultural artifact that we learn the way we learn to tell time....Instead, it is a distinct piece of the biological makeup of our brains."
11(8)
Steven Pinker
A Brief History of English "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...."
19(11)
Paul Roberts
SOME PERSONAL BEGINNINGS
30(29)
Wordstruck "I live in gratitude to my parents for initiating me--and as early as I begged for it, without keeping me waiting--into knowledge of the word, into reading and spelling, by way of the alphabet."
30(5)
Eudora Welty
Homemade Education "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."
35(4)
Malcolm X
The Man That Spelt Knife, Was a Fool Desperate to learn to read, a young Irish gypsy relates his struggles for "the little bit of knowledge" he gained.
39(4)
Johnny Connors
The Language of Silence "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...."
43(6)
Maxine Hong Kingston
Talking in the New Land "Your name will be Mary Edith Cunha,' she [my teacher] declared. `In America you only need two or three names. Mary Edith is a lovely name. And it will be easier to pronounce.' My name was...Maria Edite dos Anjos Cunha. I had no trouble pronouncing it."
49(10)
Edite Cunha Pedrosa
2 SOME WORDS ON WRITING 59(36)
GETTING STARTED
62(4)
Freewriting "It will make writing less blocked because words will come more easily. You will use up more paper, but chew up fewer pencils."
62(4)
Peter Elbow
FINDING THE RIGHT WORDS
66(20)
Simplicity "The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components."
66(6)
William Zinsser
How to Write with Style Seven friendly tips on the process of writing from one of America's most popular writers.
72(5)
Kurt Vonnegut
Selection, Slanting, and Charged Language We cannot communicate without bias. Even when our intentions are to write or speak objectively, the very facts and words we select slant our communications.
77(9)
Newman P. Birk
Genevieve B. Birk
REVISING THE PRODUCT
86(9)
The Maker's Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscript "When students complete a first draft, they consider the job of writing done--and their teachers too often agree. When professional writers complete a first draft, they usually feel that they are at the start of the writing process."
86(5)
Donald M. Murray
The Writer A poem about the challenges and joys of writing.
91(4)
Richard Wilbur
3 MEDIA AND ADVERTISING 95(88)
MAKING THE NEWS: JOURNALISM OR ENTERTAINMENT?
99(24)
Journalese as a Second Tongue "Fluency in journalese means knowing all about `the right stuff,' `gender gap,' `life in the fast lane' and the vexing dilemma of being caught `between a rock and a hard place....'"
99(4)
John Leo
TV News: All the World in Pictures "The fact that television news is principally made up of moving pictures prevents it from offering lengthy, coherent explanations of events."
103(7)
Neil Postman
Steve Powers
In Depth, but Shallowly "If you want to take your mind off the troubles of the real world, you should watch local TV news shows. I know of no better way to escape reality, except perhaps heavy drinking."
110(5)
Dave Barry
Dumbing Down: TV Talk-Show Talk "Talk show language has become almost completely detached from the literate base of English."
115(8)
Tom Shachtman
REMAKING THE NEWS: JOURNALISM OR BIAS?
123(23)
Collective Bias "Beyond accuracy, the use of language collectives may unwittingly show bias toward the status quo."
123(6)
Charles G. Russell
Paul Many
Read All About It! (But Don't Believe It) "If your only source of information about women was the media, you'd expect to find the psych wards crammed with stressed-out working women, the streets littered with the bodies of victims of terminal PMS, desperate women over 30 rushing to the altar with the nearest available male and women leaving the workforce in droves...."
129(6)
Caryl Rivers
Terrorism: Civilized and Barbaric "The western media's usage of barbarism and civilization rests not only on transference and a refusal to look honestly at history, but also on a mind-boggling double standard."
135(6)
Edward S. Herman
Two-Headed Monsters From the Columbia Journalism Review
141(5)
MAKING CONSUMERS: ADVERTISING--MANIPULATION OR ART?
146(27)
With These Words I Can Sell You Anything "Advertisers use weasel words to appear to be making a claim for a product when in fact they are making no claim at all."
146(15)
William Lutz
The Language of Advertising "The language of advertising...is a language of carefully engineered, ruthlessly purposeful messages."
161(12)
Charles A. O'Neill
CASE STUDY: ADVERTISING
173(10)
Printed Noise "Gentle reader, can you imagine any [dignified gentleman] asking a teenage girl for a `Yumbo'? Or uttering `Fishamagig' or `Egg McMuffin' or `Fribble'"...?
173(3)
George F. Will
Euphemisms for the Fat of the Land "Each time I buy pantyhose I wonder about the identity of the advertising genius who coined the term Queen Size."
176(3)
Diane White
A Word from Our Sponsor "Language without rules has little to protect it. Some of the most familiar lines would disappear like ring-around-the-collar if you put a mere `Says who?' after them."
179(4)
Patricia Volk
4 THE LANGUAGE OF POLITICS 183(64)
PROPAGANDA: HOW IT BENDS LANGUAGE
186(8)
How to Detect Propaganda "Without the appeal to our emotion--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."
186(8)
Institute for Propaganda Analysis
POLITICAL DOUBLE TALK: HOW IT BENDS MINDS
194(21)
Politics and the English Language "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible."
194(12)
George Orwell
Words Matter "We cherish freedom of speech. But we can defend that freedom and still hold accountable leaders who play on fear and hatred."
206(4)
Anthony Lewis
Everyspeech "So on Nov. 8, if you want someone with an independent mind and the courage to change--to change back to good old American values--if you've had enough and want someone tough, vote for me."
210(3)
Robert Yoakum
next to of course god america i A poem satirizing patriotic rhetoric and attitudes
213(2)
e.e. cummings
CASE STUDY: WARSPEAK
215(32)
Dehumanizing People and Euphemizing War "Defining people as microorganisms and as subhuman made it easier to justify their extermination."
215(7)
Haig A. Bosmajian
Wars, Wimps and Women: Talking Gender and Thinking War "In national security discourse, `acting like a wimp,' being insufficiently masculine, is one of the most readily available interpretive codes."
222(13)
Carol Cohn
When Words Go to War The Persian Gulf War produced some marvels of expression. "While the American side--full of spokesmen and speechwriters--has hidden behind bleached and starched words, Saddam Hussein has employed the opposite tactic to win the hearts and souls of his countrymen."
235(5)
Bella English
Eleven Ways of Looking at the Gulf War "Through the media, assorted experts, and a variety of commentators, we have made sense of the incredible events in the Gulf in at least eleven different ways."
240(7)
Arthur Asa Berger
5 LANGUAGE AND CULTURAL AND ETHNIC IDENTITY 247(62)
WHAT LANGUAGE IS AMERICAN?
251(26)
Bilingualism in America: English Should Be the Only Language "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."
251(8)
S. I. Hayakawa
Viva Bilingualism "We don't need to declare English our official language, because it already is that--and no one knows better than the immigrants and their children."
259(7)
James Fallows
Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood "Once I learned the public language, it would never again be easy for me to hear intimate family voices."
266(11)
Richard Rodriguez
WHAT DO AMERICANS CALL THEMSELVES?
277(16)
Coloring Lessons "[White and black] are colors no one really is, monolithic and redolent with historical innuendo and social shading, and the words encourage those of us who use them--everyone--to continue to think in binary terms, like computers."
277(5)
David Updike
African and American "At first, as an American who regards her ties to the mother continent Europe with great distance, I regarded the phrase African American with great skepticism."
282(4)
Ellen Goodman
Innocent and Presumed Ethnic "My father's parents were born in Italy; my mother is of German-French descent. The family name was modestly changed at Ellis Island: Y instead of I. Go figure."
286(4)
John Yemma
Theme for English B A poem that captures the conflicts of a student who is fully aware that his race, culture, and class are not that of the power majority.
290(3)
Langston Hughes
CASE STUDY: BLACK ENGLISH
293(16)
From Africa to the New World and into the Space Age "...just what is Black English, where did it come from and what are the implications for black-white interaction and teaching black children?
293(12)
Geneva Smitherman
What's Wrong with Black English "Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and James Baldwin did not achieve their eloquence, grace and stature by using only black English in their writing."
305(4)
Rachel L. Jones
6 SLURS, STEREOTYPES, SWEARS, AND FREE SPEECH 309(86)
WHAT'S POLITICALLY CORRECT?
313(19)
Bias-Free Language: Some Guidelines "[W]hen 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 times."
313(12)
Rosalie Maggio
The Word Police 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"?
325(7)
Michiko Kakutani
WHAT DO WE CALL OTHERS?
332(39)
"Nigger": The Meaning of a Word "I was later to go home and ask the inevitable question that every black parent must face--`Mommy, what does "nigger" mean?"
332(5)
Gloria Naylor
Heard Any Good Jews Lately? "The horrors of mass murder can be made bearable if the intended victim is made to appear an object that deserves extermination."
337(5)
Thomas Friedmann
The Etymology of the International Insult "Will man ever be able to rise above using insult as a weapon?"
342(5)
Charles F. Berlitz
Defining the "American Indian": A Case Study in the Language of Suppression White Europeans first labeled all the various inhabitants of the America "Indians," then "savages." Thus justified, they proceeded to kill them without guilt.
347(8)
Haig A. Bosmajian
On Being a Cripple "First, the matter of semantics. I am a cripple. I choose this word to name me."
355(4)
Nancy Mairs
Queer "Many younger gays and lesbians have embraced the term `queer' in self-description that not only valorizes it but also says to straights who might still want to use that word derogatorily, `In your face!'"
359(5)
Lillian Faderman
Discrimination at Large "The jokes and attitudes [about overweight people] are as wrong and damaging as any racial or ethnic slur."
364(4)
Jennifer A. Coleman
Telephone Conversation A poem that dramatizes the ugliness and absurdity of racial prejudice.
368(3)
Wole Soyinka
WHAT'S DIRTY LANGUAGE?
371(10)
Mind Your Tongue, Young Man "...[A]lthough Americans do have a concern about all the unbridled profanity around us every day, the reality is that we are swearing more, hearing it less."
371(4)
Sandra Flahive Maurer
What "Dirty Words" Really Mean "Ultimately, dirty words are ugly not because they refer to sex but because they imply a narrow, mechanical master-and-victim concept of sexuality."
375(6)
Dr. Joyce Brothers
CASE STUDY: FREEDOM OF SPEECH?
381(14)
Regulating Racist Speech on Campus Defending racist language in the name of "liberty of free speech" "has placed the bigot on the moral high ground and fanned the rising flames of racism."
381(6)
Charles R. Lawrence III
Free Speech on Campus "...[I]f students are to be `protected' from bad ideas, how are they going to learn to identity and cope with them? Sending such ideas underground simply makes them stronger and more dangerous."
387(8)
Nat Hentoff
7 LANGUAGE, GENDER, AND SEXISM 395(88)
HOW DOES ENGLISH PREJUDICE US AGAINST WOMEN AND MEN?
398(38)
Sexism in English: A 1990s Update "[Sexism] is not something existing independently in American English....Rather, it exists in people's minds."
398(11)
Alleen Pace Nilsen
English Anyone? "And while we are on the subject of bruised female egos, can there be anything more sophomoric than the insistence on eliminating words like `mankind' or any other use of `man' to mean in the broader sense, `Human'?"
409(5)
Spiro T. Agnew
Gender Benders "...[D]eep within language lurks the powerful force of Hidden Gender."
414(4)
Jack Rosenthal
Life as a Female Gentleman "We [black female law students] were the minority whose existence, even physical presence, had been swallowed up with the traditions associated with educating gentlemen."
418(6)
Lani Guinier
Real Men Don't: Anti-Male Bias in English "Despite numerous studies of sex bias in language during the past three decades, only rarely has anti-male bias been examined."
424(12)
Eugene R. August
HOW DO WOMEN AND MEN TALK?
436(33)
Sex Differences "More nonsense has been produced on the subject of sex differences than on any linguistic topic, with the possible exception of spelling."
436(7)
Ronald Macaulay
"I'll Explain It to You": Lecturing and Listening "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."
443(15)
Deborah Tannen
Gender Wars in Cyberspace "Isn't cyberspace supposed to be gender neutral, a place where women can feel empowered and men don't think they have to flex their pecs?"
458(5)
Nathan Cobb
Hills Like White Elephants A short story, most of which is dialogue between a man and a woman whose conversation centers on a single issue but whose expressions delineate two very different kinds of language.
463(6)
Earnest Hemingway
CASE STUDY: SEXISM AND THE BIBLE
469(14)
Is God Purple? "When these languages talked about God, most of them called God purple. After all, God was the most important person there was, so it certainly would not do to think of God as anything but purple."
469(6)
Mary Jo Meadow
The Creation of Man and Woman, from Genesis An excerpt describing the creation of Adam and Eve in the standard "patriarchal," or male-dominated, language.
475(2)
Revised Standard Version of the Bible
God Creates Humankind, from Genesis The same creation excerpt as above but rendered in nonsexist, "nonexclusionary" language by a committee of the National Council of Churches attempting to eliminate unwarranted male-dominated language from the scriptures.
477(2)
An Inclusive Language Lectionary
Don't Rewrite the Bible What the Inclusive Language Lectionary Committee has done is not nonsexist; "it is merely absurd."
479(4)
Michael Golden
8 DOUBLE TALK, EUPHEMISMS, AND PROFESSIONAL JARGON 483(36)
BUREAUCRATIC DOUBLE TALK
486(5)
Doubts About Doublespeak "Politicians, bureaucrats and merchants all are guilty of confusing the issue with language designed not to communicate."
486(5)
William Lutz
EUPHEMISMS: SUGARCOATING REALITY
491(15)
Euphemisms "It is the essentially duplicitous nature of euphemisms that makes them so attractive to those people and institutions who have something to hide...."
491(11)
Hugh Rawson
Talking DOWN "What makes downsizing such a buzzword--for the downsizer, as opposed to the down-sizee--is that it has a ring of painlessness."
502(4)
Nathan Cobb
PROFESSIONAL JARGON: LANGUAGE OF THE TRADES
506(9)
Doctor Talk Doctors have two special languages: one that says everything and one that says nothing. Unfortunately, both serve only to confuse patients.
506(5)
Diane Johnson
It May Not Be English, but It's Strictly Legal "Legal jargon is taught in law schools, and the sad fact is that most graduates can't write clearly because their thought has been obscured by legalese."
511(4)
George Gordon Coughlin
CASE STUDY
515(4)
Little Red Riding Hood Revisited "Once upon a point in time, a small person named Little Red Riding Hood initiated plans for the preparation, delivery and transportation of foodstuffs to her grandmother, a senior citizen residing at a place of residence in a forest of indeterminate dimension."
515(4)
Russell Baker
9 STANDARD AND NONSTANDARD ENGLISH 519(54)
WHAT'S "GOOD" ENGLISH?
522(30)
Good English and Bad "Considerations of what makes for good English or bad English are to an uncomfortably large extent matters of prejudice and conditioning."
522(10)
Bill Bryson
Why Good English Is Good for You "The person who does not respect words and their proper relationships cannot have much respect for ideas--very possibly cannot have ideas at all."
532(11)
John Simon
Simonspeak "No one would dream of recommending humility to [John] Simon--he's too much fun without it--but he might study English a little more carefully before he makes certain pronouncements...."
543(9)
Jim Quinn
WHAT'S NOT "GOOD" ENGLISH? SLANG AND DIALECTS
552(21)
It Ain't No Big Thing "People seem fascinated by slang, and it is widely beloved, especially in the abstract by people who cringe when it is actually spoken."
552(8)
Paul Dickson
Are Accents Out? Hey Dude, Like NEH-oh Way! Take the "frontal O," move it to California and mix well, Presto! A dialect is born.
560(8)
Patrick Cooke
Like, Uptalk? "I used to speak in a regular voice. I was able to assert, demand, question. Then I started teaching. At a university? And my students had this rising intonation thing?"
568(5)
James Gorman
Credits 573(6)
Index of Authors and Titles 579


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