Just where did the American language come from? Here linguist and librarian Rosemarie Ostler spans from the Revolutionary era—when most family libraries contained only a Bible and a grammar primer—to the Internet Age, in her search for where we truly parted ways with England and the mother tongue. From split infinitives to double negatives, and from swearing to sentence diagrams, Ostler's anecdotal history of our ever-evolving—or is it devolving?—language has a colorful cast of characters that includes Noah Webster, Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Strunk and White.
"[This book is] a fanfare for the common word, a welcome reminder that American English is a language of the people, by the people, and for the people. Noah Webster would approve."—Patricia T. O'Conner