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Do's and Taboos of Using English Around the World

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Axtell is the author of six other "Do's and Taboos" books treating such topics as public speaking and hosting international visitors. This latest outing in the series tackles the problems with using American English in English-speaking countries and in other lands as well. The work is divided into three parts: "Understanding American English," "Understanding World English," and "Becoming a Global Communicator." The first section offers little more than amusing anecdotes of misspoken language and a history of how American English developed. Works such as Richard Lederer's Crazy English (Pocket Bks., 1990) offer a more detailed treatment and many more examples of the ill uses of language, while Robert Mccrum's The Story of English (Viking, 1986) better explains the history of the language's development. The second section examines the differences between English spoken in America and that spoken in other English-speaking nations‘information that could for the most part be found in any good travel book on the country in question. The third section provides information on using English in business and social situations, i.e., pick-up lines and synonyms for a rest room. The premise of this work is interesting, and bookstores, especially travel bookstores, will most likely want to stock it. It is, however, not suitable for any library except public libraries that either have extensive travel collections or do not own any works similar to those mentioned above.‘Neal Wyatt, Mary Washington Coll. Lib., Fredericksburg, Va.

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