Date: Fri, 10 Jun 1994 21:19:37 -0700
From: THOMAS L CLARK tlc[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]NEVADA.EDU
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
tlc[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]nevada.edu
P.S. Wayne, I am personally carrying YOUR book to be given to ETAI
(English Teachers Association of Israel). 8-)