Elyse Graham will discuss the wild development of “New York English” at 7:00 pm on Thursday, February 24, in the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum.
Graham, who writes under the pen name E.J. White, is the author of You Talkin’ to Me?: The Unruly History of New York English (Oxford University Press, 2020) and A Unified Theory of Cats on the Internet (Stanford University Press, 2020).
Graham is an associate professor at Stony Brook University where she teaches classes on digital humanities, media studies, and the history of the book.
In her lecture, which draws heavily from You Talkin’ to Me?, Graham will explore how commonplace words like “boss,” “dollar,” “tycoon,” and “rush hour” got started in the thriving metropolis of New York City and eventually became part of our shared vernacular.
She will interrogate how linguistic conventions are expressed through interpersonal manners, demonstrating how each community develops a set of codes for polite speech. Specifically, she will focus on the linguistic quirks that give New Yorkers, Brooklynites, and Long Islanders their unique and widely identifiable manner of speech.
Members free | Non-members $10