English language

Speaking With an Accent Can Make You Feel Truly Foreign

Eric Green

This incident makes me well understand the reluctance and fear of non-natives in this country to even try to speak English. Some time ago, I was teaching an English as a Second Language class, and some of my students shied away from speaking at all. They most likely believed their heavy foreign accents would unjustly subject them to ridicule and make them seem unintelligent. They might have feared their classmates would have the audacity to laugh at them even as some of those students also kept silent when it was their turn to speak.

For Trump, Words Are Stupid Things

Michael Winship

Words. “I have the best words,” Trump famously proclaimed during the campaign, and just the other day he told Maria Bartiromo of Fox News how “well-crafted” his goofy tweets are. The same man announced from the White House lawn on Wednesday that “I’m a very intelligent person” — words that sounded more self-deceptive than presidential. Trump does have a way with words. Unfortunately, it’s a gruesome way. 

Please Speak Proper (American) English

Thomas Adcock

Ever since the colonial riot of 1776, upper caste Britons have enjoyed imagining us Yanks as poorly educated, uncouth, and badly tailored speakers of preposterously accented English. Since Eisenhower won World War II, our comeback was simple enough: What of it, you buck-toothed bunch of post-imperial toffee snouts? We’ve got money, movies, jazz and practically all the big guns. 

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