The book “Speaking American” by Josh Katz is an entertaining look at the way language is used. The english language is supposed to be one of the hardest languages to learn. And for good reason there are many different spellings of words that sound the same, but mean different things. For instance the word lead. Lead could mean to lead someone to a new hotel or the stuff that is inside a pencil. Okay, I know it is graphite in pencils now, but you know what I mean. Right?
That is kind of the point of this book, it graphically represents the different words used for the same things in different parts of the country. Take the Pop vs Soda dilemma. Did you also know that the word Coke is used to describe the same thing. I remember when I was in Atlanta and I asked for a “coke” and the waitress asked me which kind. What I really needed to order was a “cola”
Here is another one – Semi-Truck, Tractor-Trailer, Eighteen-Wheeler, or how about Drinking Fountain, Water Fountain, Bubbler. There are so many different ways to say the same thing and this book is full of this kind of information.
This was a fun book to read through. There are side notes on how to pretend you are from another part of the country. The whole thing is very well put together and is just plain entertaining. It would make a great coffee table book and could be the beginning of many good conversations. An excellent gift for anyone