Cover Image: Like, Literally, Dude

Like, Literally, Dude

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Member Reviews

This book upends much of the received/accepted wisdom about language trends. It's well-researched and immersive, with just the right balance of anecdotes/tidbits and technical linguistics. Language is, more than a means of communication, also about power and authority. Fridlund reveals the many ways language is wielded for such power and authority while giving us delightful and illuminating bits of history, sociology, psychology, and anthropology along the way.
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Entertaining and full of small tidbits of advice and history behind the machinations they use, I enjoyed my time with this book. It was not as revelatory as I had hoped, but I regret none of what I learned. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity with the title.
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A highly readable take on language change and why it's completely normal and in may ways, expected. Friedland highlights a few of the recent language trends, such as using dude and like, and explains why it's natural for usages to change and why speakers should be open to variation rather than stigmatize it. Language isn't stagnant and will always respond to the needs of its speakers, whether in regards to semantic changes or to emphasize stylistic choices.  Overall, this was well researched with a lot of footnotes to expand on topics and it is a great introduction for readers interested in language change.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of this novel. 4/5 stars. 

Look, linguistics is one of my weird things I absolutely love and I loved it even before I suffered (gladly) through history of the english language in college. As an english teacher, I also never escape grammar or the constant questions of why english is the way it is. So, on top of using many filler words in my normal, daily conversation...this book was incredibly interesting and was an immediate request from me when I saw it appear. 

It was a delight to read. There is a lot of humor, but there's also the pure linguistic goodness like glottal sounds and the phonetic alphabet and things that would have never made sense to me had I not taken my linguistics course in college. Even for those who do not have even a smidge of background in linguistics though would understand Fridland's writing and how things are explained. 

I particularly enjoyed how it was intersectional in its analysis, and although it focuses mostly on gender and language, there are nods to class and race as well. The focus and emphasis on slang and filler words was also interesting, and I could see applying some of this to what I tell my students -- especially when they call me out on how many times I say uhhhhh or other filler words. I deducted a star because I did not read nearly the hour worth of footnotes (according to my kindle) and although I did skim it, I wish some of the information from the footnotes would have made it into the actual book. I also think more intersectional analysis would have been nice, or like a primer to linguistics. 

Overall though, this was a delightful, informative read.
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Fridland puts together a fun, easy to read exploration of how language changes and slang develops. All of the deep personal issues people have with "the way kids talk these days" are dug into, showing that these are natural advancements rather than crimes against the spoken word. Fun and accessible to the casual reader, Fridland happily logicks her way through how our words change, and why that's like totally okay.
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Like, Literally, Dude: Arguing for the Good in Bad English will be published on April 18, 2023. Penguin Group/Viking publishing provided an early galley for review.

As a lifelong amateur writer myself, I have always had a thing for language and its uses. It is no surprise that my favorite class in school was English. The topic alone was enough to draw me to the book, yet I really like the cover design here as well. With the colors and layout, it will definitely speak to readers and draw them in.

As a sociolinguist, Fridland correlates changes in language to changes in societal cultures. She manages to deliver this in a scholarly manner that is engaging to the lay-reader. I learned a lot about filled pauses ("uh" and "um"), discourse markers ("like") and intensifiers ("literally"); reading her book was akin to taking an introductory course on linguistics.

I very much enjoyed the history of the usage of "dude". I found the discussion on "in' versus ing" to be illuminating (it applied directly to what I often found myself doing when writing dialogue for certain characters in my own fiction).
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This was absolutely one of my favorite reads of the year!

I've always found linguistics to be fascinating to learn about, but this book gave it a bit of an extra umph with its (educated!) defense of phrases that society tends to discredit.

I learned about the semantic differences between "um" and "uh" and why saying "like" isn't necessarily an indicator of low intelligence. I especially loved the helpful reminder that women are often the instigators of language change even though they are one of the demographics that are most blamed for "unintelligent" speech behaviors.

Filled with humor and fascinating information, I cannot recommend this book enough!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions.
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