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A Reader for Writers

Gita DasBender

Publication Date - 16 December 2013

ISBN: 9780199947485

416 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

Read. Write. Oxford. How does language shape our world and how do we shape language?


Read. Write. Oxford.

Language: A Reader for Writers focuses on the central and complex topic of language, exploring the reality of our multilingual world and the complexities of writing in a multilingual college classroom. It takes on key issues including the nature of language; the effects of globalization; endangered languages; multilingualism and language diversity; language, politics, and power; language and writing; language correctness; and the ways in which language shapes identity. The articles embody a range of experiences, ideas, and strategies-from scientific research and powerful arguments to poetic reflection and playful celebration.

Developed for the freshman composition course, Language: A Reader for Writers includes an interdisciplinary mix of public, academic, and scientific reading selections, providing students with the rhetorical knowledge and compositional skills required to participate effectively in discussions about language, learning, and the writing process.

Language: A Reader for Writers is part of a series of brief single-topic readers from Oxford University Press designed for today's college writing courses. Each reader in this series approaches a topic of contemporary conversation from multiple perspectives.

About the Author(s)

Gita DasBender is a Senior Faculty Associate in English and Coordinator of Second Language Writing at Seton Hall University.

Table of Contents

    1. What is Language For?
    Lera Boroditsky, "How Does Our Language Shape The Way We Think?" Edge
    Susanne Langer, "Language and Thought." Fortune
    Arika Okrent, "Body Language." Lapham's Quarterly
    Anassa Rhenisch, "Alien Languages: Not Human." Science In My Fiction
    Julie Sedivy, "Is Your Language Making You Broke and Fat? How Language Can Shape Thinking and Behavior (And How It Can't)." Discover
    2. Multilingualism
    Robert Lane Greene, "Which Is The Best Language to Learn?" More Intelligent Life
    John McWhorter, "Which Languages Should Liberal Arts Be About in 2010?" The New Republic
    Alexander Arguelles, "Experience: I Can Speak 50 Languages." The Guardian
    Adam Pulford, "Words are Wind." OUPblog
    Eddie Dean, "Klingon as a Second Language." Washington City Paper
    Sarah L. Higley, "Audience, Uglossia, and CONLANG: Inventing Languages on the Internet." Media/Culture Journal
    3. Language and Writing
    Linda S. Flower, "Writing for an Audience." Problem-Solving Strategies for Writing
    Emily Badger, "Plain English Urged to Limit Federal Bureaucracy." Pacific Standard
    Rachel La Corte, "Washington State Sees Results From 'Plain Talk' Initiative." The Olympian
    Ellen Collett, "The Art of the Police Report." Writer's Chronicle
    Anne Trubek, "We Are All Writers Now." More Intelligent Life
    4. Language and Correctness
    Robert Lane Greene, "On Language Nerds and Nags." More Intelligent Life
    Kyle Wiens, "I Won't Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here's Why." Harvard Business Review
    Sue Shellenbarger, "This Embarrasses You and I." Wall Street Journal
    Alison Griswold, "Your Bad Grammar At Work: What's the Problem?" Forbes
    Kate Dailey, "Are Language Cops Losing War Against 'Wrongly' Used Words?" BBC News Magazine
    Linton Weeks, "R Grammar Gaffes Ruining the Language? Maybe Not." National Public Radio
    Robert Lane Greene, "OMG, ETC." More Intelligent Life
    5. Language and Gender
    Jason Davis, "The Soccer Mom." Run of Play
    Robert Lane Greene, "Hey Dude." More Intelligent Life
    Wendy Kaminer, "Let's Talk About Gender, Baby." The American Prospect
    Amy Reiter, "Why Being a Jerk at Work Pays." The Daily Beast
    Nathalie Rothschild, "Sweden's New Gender-Neutral Pronoun: Hen." Slate
    Mark McCormack, "Don't Call Me Homophobic: The Complexity of 'That's So Gay.'" openDemocracy
    6. Language and Race
    James Baldwin, "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?" New York Times
    John McWhorter, "Speaking Swahili for Kwanzaa?" The Root
    Bassey Ikpi, "Why The Whole 'Poor Africa' Thing Isn't Cool." xoJane
    Daniel Hernandez, "Spanglish Moves Into Mainstream." Boston Globe
    Leticia Salais, "Saying 'Adios' to Spanglish." Newsweek
    Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, "Regarding Spanglish." Newspaper Tree
    Jaswinder Bolina, "Writing Like a White Guy." Poetry
    7. Language and Politics
    William Lutz, "Doubts About Doublespeak." State Government News
    George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language." Horizon
    Alexis Madrigal, "Why Are Spy Researchers Building a 'Metaphor Program'?" The Atlantic
    Neal Whitman, " 'Kinetic' Connections." Visual Thesaurus
    Julie Sedivy, "Are You a Mac or a Mac User? How the Language of Identity Persuades." Psychology Today
    8. Fighting Words
    Rebecca Solnit, "When The Media Is the Disaster." Guernica
    Susan Benesch, "Words as Weapons." World Policy Journal
    Julie Sedivy, "Politically Correct Animal Language." Psychology Today
    Shani P. Hilton, "The Dirtiest of Words on Capitol Hill: 'Racism'." Colorlines
    Mary Giovagnoli, "'Anchor Baby' Added to New American Heritage Dictionary" and "American Heritage Dictionary Redefines 'Anchor Baby' Term as 'Offensive' and 'Disparaging'." Immigration Impact
    Mark Peters, "Why Personhood is Powerful." Boston Globe
    9. The Language of Globalization
    Henry Hitchings, "'Conquer English to Make China Strong': The Globalization of English." from The Language Wars: A History of Proper English
    Julie Traves, "The Church of Please and Thank You." This Magazine
    Pallavi Polanki, "Operation Mind Your Language." Open
    Shehzad Nadeem, "Accent Neutralisation and a Crisis of Identity in India's Call Centres." The Guardian
    Gloria Gibbons, "Investigating 'Globish'? Pharmaceutical Market Europe
    Jin Zhao, "'Oh My Lady Gaga! This Is So Geilivable!': Chinglish Entering Globish? Things You Don't Know About China
    10. Endangered Languages
    Jonathan Amos, "'Digital Tools' To Save Languages." BBC
    Joanna Eede, "You can't Google it and Get it back." Survival International
    Roy Boney, Jr., "The Indomitable Language: How the Cherokee Syllabary Went from Parchment to iPad." Indian Country Today
    Hugo Cardoso, "The Death of An Indian-Born Language." Open
    Stephen Pax Leonard, "Death by Monoculture." University of Cambridge: Research
    Russ Rymer, "Vanishing Voices." National Geographic
    Appendix: Researching and Writing About Language

Teaching Resources

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