`The first and perhaps only book on the relative merits of American and British English that is dominated by facts and analysis rather than nationalistic prejudice.
For all its scholarship, this is also a funny and rollicking read.'The Economist, Books of the Year The English language is a beautiful thing, but it suffers under relentless assault from Americans who want nothing more than to corrupt the mother tongue. Well, that's what we're told. But what's the truth?And whose language is it anyway?Lynne Murphy, an American linguist living in England, dives into the war of words being waged over the Atlantic.
In a laugh-out-loud report, she separates reality from myth in this special relationship and delves into the social and political forces that have seen British and American English part ways.
From the origins of `the bee's knees' to why so many of Hollywood's evil geniuses sound as though they were educated at Oxford, The Prodigal Tongue reveals how our language really works and tells us where it's going.