Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Elizabeth Little: Trip of the Tongue

Getting into Elizabeth Little's Trip of the Tongue: Cross-Country Travels in Search of America's Languages (New York: Bloomsbury, 2012). Entertaining, interesting read so far, starting in Queens and then heading around the rest of the USA. There are sectons on urban and rural, American, English, Crow, Navaho, Lushootseed, Quileute, Makah, Louisiana French and Creole, Gullah, Basque, Norwegian, Haitian Creole and New Mexican Spanish. Little considers historical developments and their impact on language, as well as cultural traces embedded in specific words like Manhattan. Move aside weak tea, this is my kind of coffee!

Speaking in tongues, accents, regional variations, slang, all of this stuff adds vitality to life, even when said with a nod and a wink and a tongue-in-cheek. Can you dig? ¿Te mola? Are you down with that? What's up? What's down? What's the buzz? What's happening? How you? And also, for now, adieu, ciao, later alligator, so long, farewell, God be with you, bye-bye, y'all come back, hear? 

Today's Rune: Defense.    


WAS said...

Awesome. I love this stuff. You know where the word Yankee came from? It was Dutch for "young johnny" and referred to the English settlers, something along the lines of "stupid white man."

Adorably Dead said...

That's awesome. I love learning about languages.