Chapter published in:The Sociolinguistics of Place and Belonging: Perspectives from the margins
Edited by Leonie Cornips and Vincent A. de Rooij
[IMPACT: Studies in Language, Culture and Society 45] 2018
► pp. 207–212
Language, place, agency
In 1962, American novelist John Steinbeck published a memoir about traveling in a camper truck across the United States, accompanied by his dog Charley. Noticing the increasing availability of radio and television, Steinbeck mourned the loss of the regional speech differences he remembered from his youth:
It seemed to me that regional speech is in the process of disappearing, not gone but going. Forty years of radio and twenty years of television must have this impact. Communications must destroy localness, by a slow, inevitable process. I can remember a time when I could almost pinpoint a man’s place of origin by his speech. That is growing more difficult now and will in some foreseeable future become impossible. It is a rare house or building that is not rigged with spiky combers of the air. Radio and television speech becomes standardized, perhaps better English than we have ever used. (Steinbeck 1980: 106)
Published online: 07 March 2018
Beal, J. C.
Cheshire, J., Kerswill, P., Fox, S. & Torgersen, E.