How do social structures, national mythologies, and deeply held values affect the language that we speak? Lynne Murphy explores those elements in The Prodigal Tongue, where she delves into the sibling rivalry between British and American English. Providing ample evidence against the popularly held belief that American English is newer (and morally inferior to) the British English spoken today, she considers how stereotypes and social class affect how Americans and Brits view each other--and each other's language. At the same time, she looks at where our English has been and where it's going. Will the differences we've nurtured become similarities?
Informative and humorous, Lynne Murphy looks at the causes and symptoms of what she calls American Verbal Inferiority Complex and its flip-side, British Verbal Superiority Complex, and shines a new light on the diversity of English, with the ultimate message that the creativity of the English-speaking peoples should be celebrated and enjoyed.