Date: Fri, 10 Jun 1994 21:19:37 -0700


Subject: Re: American Language and Culture

On Thu, 9 Jun 1994, Wayne Glowka wrote:

Can someone suggest useful texts for new international graduate students

that would introduce them to the realities of American English (idioms,

conversation rituals in various settings, maybe pronunciation) and American

culture (students are expected to attend class, people wear deodorant,

Christians believe such and such, punctuality is important, etc.)?

I just got some advice from the intrepid Metcalf the Magnificent that

might be of service to you. I asked him what publications I should take

to Israel that would best show teachers of American English the language

and culture under discussion.

He said that of ALL the scholarly and linguistically and politically

correct publications he took with him (an extra suitcase in itself),

the one that made a big hit was _Sassy_ magazine.

Now I had NEVER heard of _Sassy_, so I went out and bought a copy. It

had all the latest lingo, dood, and the best reasons for underarm shaving

(kills crabs) and using deoderant, PLUS explaining all the latest rock

groups like Slinging Pitch, Worsted Wool Gatherers, and Torn Hangnail.

I realized that we (America) have exported more than McDonald's. We

have exported a way of life... tight jeans, nipple covers, and tattoos on

the butt. We may have also transmitted some other values that make

people, even graduate students, interested in our culture.

We may even have some higher values to transmit, once we get beyond the

Cosmopolitan Man of the Year.

I guess that the subtext here is that you use linguistic texts for

language, and popular publications for insights into culture.


Thomas L. Clark


P.S. Wayne, I am personally carrying YOUR book to be given to ETAI

(English Teachers Association of Israel). 8-)