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The media are ruining English'; 'Some languages are harder than others'; 'Children can't speak or write properly anymore.' Such pieces of 'cultural wisdom' are often expressed in newspapers and on radio and television. Rarely is there a response from experts in the fields of language and language development. In this book Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill have invited nineteen respected linguists from all over the world to address these 'language myths'--showing that they vary from the misconceived to the downright wrong. With essays ranging from 'Women Talk Too Much' and 'In the Appalachians They Speak Like Shakespeare' to 'Italian Is Beautiful, German Is Ugly' and 'They Speak Really Bad English Down South and in New York City,' Language Myths is a collection that is wide-ranging, entertaining, and authoritative.