Words in Common: Essays on Language, Culture and Society, 1st edition

  • Gillian Thomas

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This text is aimed at English composition courses at university and community college.

This Canadian theme-based reader for introductory composition is structured around two very current topics: language and culture. The text features topics all students have experience with and are aimed at generating debate and discussion. Issues range from questions of personal freedom to the pace of technological change, from self-expression to the social construction of institutions, to name a few. With its combination of Canadian content and focus on language and culture, Words in Common offers a unique approach to developing critical thinking, reading, and writing skills for introductory composition.

Table of contents

1. Reading and Writing.

Richard Wright, Discovering Books. Alberto Manguel, Forbidden Reading. Nick Smith, Mediations on Meditation. Margaret Atwood, Nine Beginnings. Kurt Vonnegut, How to Write with Style.

2. Language and Culture.

Hugh Brody, Language in the Arctic. Marie Annharte Baker, Borrowing Enemy Language: A First Nation Woman's Use of English. Eva Hoffmann, Lost in Translation. Himani Banerji, The Sound Barrier: Translating Ourselves in Language and Experience. David Carpenter, Nomme de Plume.

3. Gendered Words.

Casey Miller and Kate Swift, One Small Step for Genkind. Deborah Tannen, I'll Explain It to You: Lecturing and Listening. Deborah Cameron, Rethinking Language and Gender Studies. Jan Morris, Travelling Writer. Susan Ehrlich, Linguistics in Action. Emily Martin, How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles.

4. Wounding Words.

Thomas Friedmann, Heard Any Good Jews Lately? Gloria Naylor, The Meanings of a Word. Rachel Giese, Hating the Hate Crimes Bill. Lynn Crosbie, Last Words: A Memoir.

5. Forbidden Words.

John Sopinka, Freedom of Speech Under Attack. Allan C. Hutchinson, Like Lunches, Speech Is Never Free. Kimberley Noble, Bound and Gagged. Margaret Atwood, Pornography.

6. Politically Speaking.

George Orwell, Politics and the English Language. Brian Fawcett, Politics and the English Language 1991. Stephen Brockmann, Total Entertainment. Barbara Amiel, Backstage Mozambique: A Flagrant Violation of Rights. Rick Salutin, Amiel: Beyond the Fringe.

7. Commerce and Communication.

Samuel Johnson, The Abuses of Advertising. Frank Coleman, Big Lie in Marlboro Country. Phil Ryan, Compromising Partnerships. Nicole Nolan, Isn't It Ironic?

8. The Mediated World.

Marshall McLuhan, Television: The Timid Giant. Maude Barlow and James, The Horse's Mouth. Linda Grant, We're Losing the Plot. Andrew Cash, Pump Up the Volume. Michael Posner, Art by Committee.

9. Questions of Truth.

Randal Marlin, Where There's Smoke. See Korum, Adventures in the Number Trade. Peter Robertson, More than Meets the Eye. John Goddard, A Real Whopper. Thomas King, How I Spent My Summer Vacation: History, Story, and the Cant of Authenticity.

10. Considering Consumption.

Joyce Nelson, The Temple of Fashion. Dan Robins, Third World Chic. Mackenzie Wark, The Postmodern Pair. Lars Eigner, Dumpster Diving: The Fine Art of Scavenging. Cory Doctorow, Dumpster Diving.

11. The House of Technology.

Ursula Franklin, All Is Not Well in the House of Technology. Wayne Ellwood, Seduced by Technology. David F. Noble, Digital Diploma Mills. Tony Leighton, The New Nature. Robert Fulford, The Ideology of the Book. R. Murray Schafer, Dub.

12. Finding Out.

Timothy Findley, The Magnet Effect. Mark Jordan, Ten Myths of the Internet. Joyce Thompson, Scholarly Surging : Smart Strategies for Internet Research.

Published by Pearson Canada (April 20th 1999) - Copyright © 1999