Do You Speak American?
First Aired: January 5, 2005
A linguistic tour of the U.S., conducted by Robert MacNeil, who probed the English language's role in the world in the 1986 PBS series “The Story of English.” American English is “restless, slangy, constantly changing,” says MacNeil, who begins wondering why Down Easters say “ayuh” instead of yes and ends on the West Coast talking to computers. He also listens to blacks, Hispanics and Valley Girls, and is heartened by the language's resilience. “And like,” he concludes, “how cool is that?”
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