Allan Metcalf takes us on a tour of American English, beginning in the South, home of the most easily recognized of American dialects, and traveling north to New England, west to the Midwest, and on to the far West, including Alaska and Hawaii. Along the way the author examines such phenomena as Louisiana Cajun and New Orleans Yat, Appalachian pronunciations and vocabulary, New York talk, "dahntahn" Pittsburgh, "Bawlmerese," the Northern Cities Shift, the Northern Midwest "Fargo" accent, California Surfer Slang, and much much more.
How We Talk also has a historical introduction, a chapter on ethnic dialects, and a chapter on dialects in the movies.
How We Talk is a sustained celebration of the language Americans all know and don't understand. Written in a witty and engaging style, the book is ideally suited for students with little or no linguistic training.
Even the proofreader said it was hard to put down.