That's The Way It Crumbles by Matthew Engel
The American Conquest of English

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Throughout his entertaining history, Engel argues for a stout forward defence against this onslaught of “cool” and “fun” and “you guys”.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Are we tired of hearing that fall is a season, sick of being offered fries and told about the latest movie? Yeah. Have we noticed the sly interpolation of Americanisms into our everyday speech? You betcha. And are we outraged? Hell, yes. But do we do anything? Too much hassle. Until now.

In That's The Way It Crumbles Matthew Engel presents a call to arms against the linguistic impoverishment that happens when one language dominates another. With dismay and wry amusement, he traces the American invasion of our language from the early days of the New World, via the influence of Edison, the dance hall and the talkies, right up to the Apple and Microsoft-dominated present day, and explores the fate of other languages trying to fend off linguistic takeover bids. It is not the Americans' fault, more the result of their talent for innovation and our own indifference.

He explains how America's cultural supremacy affects British gestures, celebrations and way of life, and how every paragraph and conversation includes words the British no longer even think of as Americanisms. Part battle cry, part love song, part elegy, this book celebrates the strange, the banal, the precious and the endangered parts of our uncommon common language.

 

About Matthew Engel

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Matthew Engel is a journalist and author. He has written for the Guardian and Financial Times, among other publications, and was the editor of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack for twelve years. His books include Eleven Minutes Late: A Train Journey to the Soul of Britain and Extracts from the Red Notebooks.
 
Published June 8, 2017 by Profile Books. 289 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for That's The Way It Crumbles
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Kathryn Hughes on Jul 08 2017

For as Matthew Engel shows in this jaunty book, even the most pedantic Britons use Americanisms – words, phrases, pronunciations and spellings, but also that indefinable thing called cadence – 24/7. We can’t help it.

Read Full Review of That's The Way It Crumbles: T... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Tim Adams on Jul 03 2017

Throughout his entertaining history, Engel argues for a stout forward defence against this onslaught of “cool” and “fun” and “you guys”.

Read Full Review of That's The Way It Crumbles: T... | See more reviews from Guardian

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