Here's another book on language that might  be of interest to those 
following this thread. I've also pasted below a description and a 
review that was floating around the internet.

Language Myths
by Laurie Bauer (Editor), Peter Trudgill (Editor)
	*	ISBN-10: 0140260234
	*	ISBN-13: 978-0140260236
Editorial Reviews
Book Description
 From accents to politics, this fascinating collection of essays from 
today's leading linguists uncovers the many misconceptions we hold 
about language

"The media are ruining English"; "Some languages are harder than 
others"; "Children can't speak or write properly anymore." Such 
pieces of "cultural wisdom" are often expressed in newspapers and on 
radio and television. Rarely is there a response from experts in the 
fields of language and language development. In this book Laurie 
Bauer and Peter Trudgill have invited nineteen respected linguists 
from all over the world to address these "language myths"--showing 
that they vary from the misconceived to the downright wrong. With 
essays ranging from "Women Talk Too Much" and "In the Appalachians 
They Speak Like Shakespeare" to "Italian Is Beautiful, German Is 
Ugly" and "They Speak Really Bad English Down South and in New York 
City," Language Myths is a collection that is wide-ranging, 
entertaining, and authoritative.

About the Author
Laurie Bauer is a Reader in Linguistics at Victoria University of 
Wellington, New Zealand, and the author of many books and articles on 
word formation, international varieties of English, and language 
change in current English. Peter Trudgill is Professor of English 
Language and Linguistics at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. 
He is the author of several books on dialect and on language and 

LAURIE BAUER and PETER TRUDGILL, eds. Language Myths. New York: 
Penguin Putnam Inc., 1998. 189 pp.

This book, comprising contributions from highly qualified 
contributors in linguistics, explores some of the more infamous myths 
associated with language today. Each article brings to light some of 
the most outrageous assumptions about language, and attempts to 
explain the roots of these misconceptions. 
Dennis R. Preston's 'They Speak Really Bad English Down South and in 
New York City' and Walt Wolfram's 'Black Children are Verbally 
Deprived' deal with sociolinguistic issues.  Conceptions relating to 
syntax are discussed in Lars-Gunnar Anderson's 'Some Languages are 
Harder than Others,' and Winifred Bauer's 'Some Languages Have No 
Grammar.' Anderson discusses inflectional and derivational morphology 
and claims that some languages really are more difficult than others 
- the claim being that the grammar of analytic languages is more 
easily grasped than that of synthetic languages.
             Peter Trudgill's  'The Meanings of Words Should Not be 
Allowed to Vary or Change,' and J.K. Chambers 'TV Makes People Sound 
the Same' focus on historical linguistics.  The latter essay shows 
how television is perceived to be a source of language change, but 
that sound or grammatical change cannot be so explained.  C notes 
that if such credit were to be given to the role television plays in 
society, it could be thanked for the vast expansion of lexical terms 
it introduces and reinforces.
             Finally, 'Double Negatives are Illogical' by Jenny 
Cheshire and 'You Shouldn't Say 'It is Me' because 'Me' is 
Accusative' by Laurie Bauer explore the relationship between Latin 
and English and the rules of logic imposed on English by 
prescriptivists.  the former article mentioned takes up the notion 
that two negatives placed in a sentence cancel each other out, 
thereby creating an affirmative.  Bauer's article raises the question 
as to why English reflects the grammar of Latin;  clearly, when left 
alone to generate its own rules, English is comprehensible to 
speakers and writers. A more important point is Bauer's example of 
the French c'est moi, literally "that is me" and the impossibility of 
*c'est je "that is I," since je can occur only as a subject.  B 
points out that if French, of a genetically closer relationship to 
Latin than English, has not retained this point of Latin grammar, why 
should English assume it?  Bauer's insights, those of the 
aforementioned contributors, make for enjoyable and thought-provoking 
Nadia Balkar
California State University, Fullerton

>Hi All,
>I'm new to this listserv so excuse me if you've already discussed this.
>But Ruby Payne has a great book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty,
>about the effect of socio-economic class in schools.  One of its main
>themes is the use of language and how it relates to success in school.
>It is one of the best books I've read to help me understand where so
>many of my students are coming from, what rules they are following and
>how I can help them understand their own written and spoken language so
>they can have an educated choice about how they write and converse. It's
>not about good, bad or better or best, it's about having enough
>information to choose what will work for you or not in terms of
>individual success goals.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Diana Calhoun Bell
>Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 3:42 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Language, status and discrimination
>Hi all,
>It sounds like some of you may be interested in a great little book I
>found that I use with my teacher education candidates (as they seem to
>perpetuate langauge lore). Anyway, it is put out by Penguin and the
>title is Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for
>Fun and Spite. The author is June Casagrande. It has great chapters like
>"Snobbery Up With Which You Should Not Put,"Copulative Conjunctions: Hot
>Stuff for the Truly Desperate," and "I'm Writing This While Nakes--The
>Oh-So-Steamy Predicate Nominative."
>Diana Bell
>"To do things for students that they can do for themselves is not
>generosity but impatience." (Mina Shaughnessy)
>Dr. Diana C. Bell
>Academic Resource Center Director
>136 Madison Hall
>University of Alabama in Huntsville
>Huntsville, AL  35899


Knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention,  through 
the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry men pursue in 
the world, with the world, and with each other. --Paolo Freire

Dominic (Nic) J. Voge
Study Strategies Program Coordinator
University of California, Berkeley
Student Learning Center
136 Cesar Chavez Student Center  #4260
Berkeley, CA 94720-4260

(510) 643-9278
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