February 24, 2024 | Rome, Italy

The Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches from the Future of English

By |2018-03-21T18:33:02+01:00June 8th, 2008|Recent Reviews|

By Mark Abley

Random House Canada, 2008. 272 pages.


ournalist and poet Mark Abley follows up the international success of “Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages” with a sort of travelogue from the cutting-edges of the English language. His purpose is to find out where our language is headed, as it spreads across the globe at an unprecedented pace. The resulting report is chock full of intriguing examples. (Ever heard the words “womlu,” “hippu hangu,” “noob,” or “yaya papaya”?) At times, it favors exploring English’s twists and turns — through Asia, hip hop, the Internet — to mapping and analyzing them. But the journey itself is thought-provoking.

About the Author:

Kate Swoger is too-rapidly approaching middle age. Following a young woman’s not-so-erotic journey from Montreal to Middle Europe, she settled in Toronto, where she works for CBC Radio. On her last birthday, she decided to write a short story for every month of the year, in an effort to become a published author. Her first story was recently printed in the Vancouver magazine Front, making her instantly immortal.