Recognizing Voice and Finding Your Own Voice in Writing About the City
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Word Choice in City Voice
Since voice has been the vehicle and city has been the theme of this collection of ideas to get students reading and creating, I’d like to end with a suggestion that city voices, that is the words and rhythms that people use to express themselves, can be themselves the subject of consideration. Two excellent essays for this topic are in the Stubbs-Barnet The Little. Brown Reader: Barbara Lawrence’s “Four Letter Words Can Hurt You” and Peter Garb’s “Linguistic Chauvinism.” A third is “I Recognize You” by Rosario Morale who laments a Puerto Rican immigrant’s choice (her own?) to learn “perfect” English and the implications of this choice (in “Puerto Rican Writers at Home in the United States,” edited by Faythe Turner). These should get the class discussing and arguing about city language.