Think the friction between red states and blue states is rough? Try checking out the culture wars over “proper" English. In this special talk coinciding with the release of his new book Words on the Move, linguist and master observer of American culture John McWhorter examines and parses our shape-shifting language and explores why some of the tensions over Lingua Americana may be central to our identities and views about culture and race in America.
Before & After
Test out special cocktails the “Old-Fashioned Grammarian” and the “YASSSSS!”
Sway to wordplay-inspired tunes
Check out the Q&A and snag a copy of McWhorter’s new book
John McWhorter is a linguist, political commentator, and professor at Columbia University. He writes for Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Root, Politico, The New Republic, and The Atlantic, and he is a frequent guest on NPR, CNN, and MSNBC. His popular and critically acclaimed books include The Power of Babel, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, What Language Is, and most recently, Words on the Move: Why English Won’t - and Can’t - Sit Still (Like, Literally).