Do you say fireflies or lightning bugs? Yardsale, garage sale, or tag sale? Tennis shoes, sneakers, or gym shoes? When your friends argue vehemently over kitty-corner or catty-corner, would you like to know where the confusion originated?
If you are looking for a fun language-based Christmas gift, try Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk, by Josh Katz. This book is a fun, visual guide through American vernacular and how it differs across the 50 states. The large, colorful graphics and charts on each page make this book visually pleasing and easy to peruse. Katz also writes interesting notes outlining the historical evolution of our country’s surprisingly variable vocabulary and idioms.
Speaking American provides endless entertainment and conversation among family members and friends. It makes for a fun cover-to-cover read, as well as something to flip through at random.