9781592400843 / 1592400841

Doing Our Own Thing





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About the book:

In Doing Our Own Thing, critically acclaimed linguist and cultural critic John McWhorter traces the precipitous decline of language in contemporary America, arguing persuasively that casual, everyday speech has conquered the formal in all arenas, from oratory to poetry to everyday journalismand has even had dire consequences for our musical culture. McWhorter argues that the swift and startling change in written and oral communication emanated from the countercultural revolution of the 1960s and its ideology that established forms and formality were autocratic and artificial. While acknowledging that the evolution of language is in and of itself inevitable and often benign, he warns that the near-total loss of formal expression in America is unprecedented in modern history, and has reached a crisis point in our culture in which our very ability to convey ideas and arguments effectively is gravely threatened.

By turns compelling and harrowing, passionate and judicious, Doing Our Own Thing is required reading for all concerned about the state of our languageand the future of intellectual life in America.

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