From a critically acclaimed master of language, a look at the trends, phenomena, and battles on the front lines of modern American English.
In You Need to Read This, language expert Ben Yagoda writes about the cuckoo things we have done to the English language. His witty, insightful, and wise observations and advice are gathered here together for the first time.
From the phenomenon of curate, to the rise of the glottal stop, to the prevalence of starting sentences with so, to the story of an epithet of the moment (douchey), Yagoda chronicles the trends in our language. In the second part of You Need to Read This, he examines the issue of mistakes and “mistakes,” and the battles between prescriptivists, who nitpick grammar, and descriptivists, who defend new expressions and casual usage. Yagoda is on the front lines of the language wars, and you need to read this book to find out which side you’re on.
BEN YAGODA teaches English at the University of Delaware, and is the author of four books, including The Sound on the Page and About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made. He has contributed to Slate.com, the New… More about Ben Yagoda