Discovery Series: Like, Literally, Dude: Learning to love our most reviled speech habits

Valerie M. Fridland

Topic: Like, Literally, Dude: Learning to love our most reviled speech habits

Speaker: Valerie M. Fridland

Date: February 28, 2024 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CST)

Abstract: We’ve developed a serious love-hate relationship with our modern speech habits.  Though we whine that like, um, non-literal literally, and vocal fry portend the downfall of English, we can’t seem to stop using them.  And who gets the blame for this sad state of linguistic affairs?  The usual suspects when things go wrong– the young, the female and the uneducated.  But what if those we blame for our most unloved linguistic features are the very same people who made English what it is today?  Sociolinguist and professor Valerie Fridland tackles this conflicted relationship we have with new and noticeable forms in our speech, sharing key take-aways from her recently published book, LIKE, LITERALLY, DUDE: Arguing for the Good in Bad English.

Bio: With a PhD in linguistics, Valerie is Professor and former Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English at the University of Nevada in Reno.  An expert on the relationship between language and society, her work has appeared in numerous academic journals and she is co-author of the book Sociophonetics.

​Valerie also speaks and writes widely for a popular audience. Her language blog, Language in the Wild, appears in Psychology Today and her lecture series, Language and Society, is featured with The Great Courses.  Her first book for a popular audience, Like, Literally, Dude: Arguing for the Good in Bad English, is available for pre-order with Viking/Penguin Press.  She has appeared as a language expert on a variety of media outlets such as CBS News, NPR and Newsy’s The Why and is regularly featured on podcasts and radio.   

Valerie lives with her husband and two teenagers in the beautiful Reno/Tahoe area. Learn more about Valerie M. Fridland.