Reflections on Language

Paperback | December 1, 1998

EditorStuart Hirschberg, Terry Hirschberg

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Reflections on Language brings together a collection of seventy-eight articles that examine language from many different perspectives. Its selections focus on language as a social form, demonstrating how it is an indispensable component of the world and how we interpret it. Organizedthematically, the text addresses many topics, including the acquisition of language, the rhetoric of advertising, the language of politics, language between the sexes, and language across cultures. It also discusses areas not covered by similar books, such as the bodily basis of language,communication across species, and the language of cyberspace. Ideal for courses in freshman composition, introduction to language, and a variety of writing classes, Reflections on Language helps students and other readers to become more aware of language and to use it more effectively. The text offers useful aids for writing instruction, including anopening chapter on writing and revising, a rhetorical table of contents, and a glossary, as well as introductory notes, journal writing prompts, and analytical exercises for each selection. Reflections on Language also includes an index as well as thirteen advertisements, eighteen cartoons, andnumerous end-of-chapter writing assignments. This unique reader incorporates a substantial number of scholarly articles by language theorists in addition to pieces by popular writers and works of short fiction, poetry, and drama. Lively, informative, and authoritative, Reflections on Language leadsstudents and general readers to a deeper understanding of language and its power.

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From the Publisher

Reflections on Language brings together a collection of seventy-eight articles that examine language from many different perspectives. Its selections focus on language as a social form, demonstrating how it is an indispensable component of the world and how we interpret it. Organizedthematically, the text addresses many topics, includi...

Stuart Hirschberg is at Rutgers University, Newark.

other books by Stuart Hirschberg

Format:PaperbackDimensions:672 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 1.42 inPublished:December 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195120442

ISBN - 13:9780195120448

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Table of Contents

Rhetorical ContentsList of IllustrationsPrefaceIntroduction: "How to Write with Style", Kurt Vonnegut1. Acquiring LanguageHelen Keller: "The Day Language Came Into My Life"Eileen Simpson: "Dyslexia"Noam Chomsky: "The Language Faculty"Jay Ingram: "Genespeak"Jared Diamond: "Reinventions of Human Language"Steven Pinker: "Baby Born Talking--Describes Heaven"2. Communication Across SpeciesDonald R. Griffin: "Wordy Apes"Francine Patterson: * "Conversations with a Gorilla"Patterson describes experiments in which the gorilla Koko's acquisition and use of sign language led the author and other researchers to believe Koko displayed evidence of linguistic capabilities.Herbert S. Terrace: "What I Learned from Nim Chimsky"Susanne K. Langer: "Language and Thought"Vicki Hearne: "How to Say 'Fetch!'"David Ives: Words, Words, Words3. The Bodily Basis of LanguageKenneth Burke: "Symbolic Action"David Abram: "The Flesh of Language"George Lakoff: "Anger"Oliver Sacks: * "The President's Speech"A medical researcher explores the complex relationship between mind and body in patients who suffer from aphasia, which sensitizes them to discrepancies between words and gestures and makes them human lie detectors.Temple Grandin: "Thinking in Pictures"Richard Selzer: "The Language of Pain"Terry Tempest Williams: "Yellowstone: The Erotics of Place"Alison Lurie: "The Language of Clothes"4. Can We Talk?Mikhail M. Bakhtin: "The Dialogic Imagination"Ronald Wardhaugh: "The Social Basis of Talk"Peter Farb: "Verbal Dueling"James Gorman: "Like, Uptalk?"Fritz Peters: "Gurdjieff Remembered"Tom Shachtman: "What's Wrong with TV?: Talk Shows"Raymond Carver: "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love"5. Communication Between the SexesRobin Lakoff: "Language and Woman's Place"Deborah Tannen: * "Sex, Lies, and Conversation"A professor of linguistics identifies the distinctive communication styles of men and women and explains how these differences can lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings.Jane Tompkins: "Women and the Language of Men"Eugene R. August: "Real Men Don't, or Anti-Male Bias in English"Lance Morrow: "Advertisements for Oneself"Sherrie Schneider and Ellen Fein: "Rule #19: Don't Open Up Too Fast"Linda Stasi: "Your First Date"6. Language Between CulturesEnrique Fernandez: "Salsa x 2"Richard Rodriguez: "Public and Private Language"Sarah Min: "Language Lessons"Amy Tan: "The Language of Discretion"Lydia Minatoya: "Transformation"David A. Ricks: * "What's in a Name?"A professor of international business underscores the importance of test marketing product or company names to avoid unintended, humorous, offensive, and even obscene connotations when these names are translated into other languages.7. Many EnglishesPaul Roberts: "Something About English"Julia Penelope: "The Glamour of Grammar"Lewis Carroll: "Jabberwocky" and "Explaining the Meaning of Jabberwocky"Barbara Mellix: "From Outside, In"Itabari Njeri: * "What's in a Name?"A journalist discusses the importance of names, especially for African Americans, and explains how her choice to adopt her African name changed her life.Martha Barnette: "Ladyfingers and Nun's Tummies"Anthony Burgess: "From A Clockwork Orange"John Agard: "Listen mr oxford don"8. The Politics of Everyday LanguageJack Solomon: "What's In a Name? The Ideology of Cultural Classification"Fan Shen: "The Classroom and the Wider Culture: Identity as a Key to Learning English Composition"Alleen Pace Nilsen: * "Sexism in English: A 1990s Update"A linguist describes the inherent sexism in the English language and documents recent changes in the way Americans talk.Susan Sontag: "AIDS and its Metaphors"Michiko Kakutani: "The Word Police"Frank Nuessel: "Old Age Needs a New Name, But Don't Look for It in Webster's"Jonathan Kozol: "The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society"James Finn Garner: * "Little Red Riding Hood"This witty takeoff on politically correct ways of thinking offers a modern-day version of the classic fairy tale.9. The Rhetoric of AdvertisingBill Bryson: "The Hard Sell: Advertising in America"John Berger: "Ways of Seeing"Stuart Hirschberg: "The Rhetoric of Advertising"Naomi Wolf: * "From The Beauty Myth"A feminist author demonstrates how "beauty" functions as a cultural myth that imprisons women in their bodies and nullifies social gains made in recent times.Jean Kilbourne: "Beauty and the Beast of Advertising"Susan Irvine: "Sprayed and Neutered"10. The Language of PoliticsGeorge Orwell: "Politics and the English Language"Stuart Hirschberg: "Analyzing the Rhetoric of Nixon's 'Checkers Speech'"Gilbert Highet: "The Gettysburg Address"Aldous Huxley: * "Propaganda Under a Dictatorship"The English novelist and essayist examines how manipulation of language in the propaganda of Nazi Germany conditioned the thoughts and behavior of the masses.Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I Have a Dream"Earl Charles Spencer: * "Eulogy for a Princess"The brother of Diana, Princess of Wales, delivers a heartfelt tribute to his sister on the occasion of her funeral on September 6, 1997, that touches on perosnal, political, and media issues.Neil Postman and Steve Powers: "How to Watch TV News"11. CybertalkLynNell Hancock: "The Haves and the Have-Nots"Sven Birkerts: "Into the Electronic Millennium"David Angell and Brent Heslop: "Return to Sender"Paul Span: "Women and Computers: Is There Equity in Cyberspace?"Brian Hayes: * "The Electronic Palimpsest"The author describes differences in archiving techniques and revision processes between electronically produced documents and their paper equivalents.David Rothenberg: * "How the Web Destroys the Quality of Students' Research Papers"A professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology decries the growing carelessness of students who surf the Net to gather information for their research papers.Amy Bruckman: "Christmas Unplugged"Chet Williamson: "The Personal Touch"Glossary of Rhetorical and Linguistic TermsIndex of Authors and TitlesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Lively approach to the breadth and intensity of language in the world and in daily life."--J. Agard, Muskegon Community College, MI