That’s The Way It Crumbles – Is America devouring the English Language?
Are we tired of being asked to take the elevator, sick of being offered fries and told about the latest movie? Yeah. Have we noticed the sly interpolation of Americanisms into our everyday speech? It’s a no-brainer. And are we outraged? Hell, yes. But do we deny anything? Too much hassle. Until now.
That’s The Way It Crumbles is a very personal view of the English language and how Americanisms have crept into our everyday speech. I have to admit, being an Ex-Pat; I hear this a lot in Australia. Australian English certainly takes on a lot of Americanisms. The pronunciation of yoghurt and vitamins are some of the most obvious, and I always hear a little snigger when I say ‘I’m heading out to the cinema to watch a film’, rather than just ‘Goin to the movies.’
Matthew Engel brings to this book a plethora of American words and their histories. When were these words first in print? How did they catch on? How did they become part of our everyday language, and how is it affecting a language which is used almost universally?
What Did I Think About That’s The Way It Crumbles?
I particularly liked the last third of the book which had a timeline of words and when they appeared, from the 1800’s right up to today. Some were quite a surprise!
Personally, I think that language is always evolving. You would find it slightly taxing to understand the way people wrote and spoke in medieval times, right? It’s the nature of evolution, and although I admire Engel’s vast knowledge of the English language, and I hate the introduction of new slang terms, I think it’s just the way it crumbles!
3 out of 5 – Any word nerd will enjoy!
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If like the idea of this book, you might enjoy A Brief History Of Anyone Who Ever Lived