Dispatches from the Future of English
From Ice Cube to You Tube via 'Singlish' and Bouncebackability - Mark Abley travels the globe to report on the dynamic new forces shaping the future of the English language
Mark Abley takes the reader on a world-wide trip like no other - from Singapore to Japan, Oxford to Los Angeles, through the web and even back in time. As much a travel book as a linguistic study, this book goes beyond grammar and vocabulary; more importantly, this book is about the people of the world.
On his travels Abley encounters bloggers, translators, novelists, therapists, dictionary makers, hip-hop performers and web-savvy teenagers. He talks to a married couple who were passionately corresponding online before they met in 'meatspace.' And he listens to teenagers, puzzling out the words they coin in chat rooms and virtual worlds.
Lively, evocative, passionate and hilarious, this is a book for everyone who cherishes the words we use.
“[A] fascinating account of developing English.”
“In The Prodigal Tongue, Mark Abley investigates the deep flux in contemporary English... Attuned to pop culture as well as to scholarship...it stylishly covers a large amount of ground, from Lee Kuan Yew to YouTube, via Spike Lee and Ice Cube... Joyous - a paean to the dynamic energies of English.”