Do You Speak American is a program which will appear on the US television network PBS ("Public Broadcasting System," a government-owned network) and will have Robert McNeil discussing the various dialects of American English. The other day I took a look at the companion volume to the series: "Do You Speak American?: A Companion to the PBS Television Series by Robert MacNeil and William Cran. Publisher: Nan A. Talese: Doubleday, copyright 2005.

The subject discussed in the first chapter, "The Language Wars," is prescriptivism versus descriptivism. John Simon appears as an advocate of the first (and others are cited) and Geoffrey K. Pullum and Jesse Sheidlower as advocates of the second.
For example, Sheidlower discusses a charge Simon makes against the editors of current dictionaries:
(quote)
Sheidlower denies Simon's charge that they are regarding as law whatever ordinary people say. "Absolutely untrue," he says. In fact, it's still the case that what the educated say is the law, because a language feature used only by the uneducated would always be described as just that." What Sheidlower means is that his dictionary makes the distinction between what is accepted in correct usage and what is still seen as "slang" or "informal."
(end quote)

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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PBS ("Public Broadcasting System," a government-owned network)

Oy!

Roland Hutchinson              Will play viola da gamba for food.

NB mail to my.spamtrap (at) verizon.net is heavily filtered to remove spam.  If your message looks like spam I may not see it.
Do You Speak American is a program which will appear on the US television network PBS ("Public Broadcasting System," a government-owned network)

Fom the PBS website.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria Va., is a PRIVATE, non-profit, media enterprise owned and operated by the nations 349 public television stations.

The Government does not own the PBS.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
PBS ("Public Broadcasting System," a government-owned network)

Oy!

Seconded. PBS is, in its own words, "a private, non-profit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations". Public broadcasting is "public" in the "noncommercial and concerned with the supposed public interest" sense.

Actually, PBS can be said to be a mix of state and nonstate, in that it includes television stations that are owned by some state entity. However, I would assume that most PBS stations are not state-owned.

Based on information at the PBS website, it would seem that less than half of funding for public television (and no more than about 40%) is from state entities.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is a quango.

Steny '08!
PBS ("Public Broadcasting System," a government-owned network)

Oy!

"Public Broadcasting *Service.* " I tried to find out if it had ever been named the "Public Broadcasting System," but was unable to do so. It certainly is referred to as such often enough on the Internet.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Do You Speak American is a program which will appear on the US television network PBS ("Public Broadcasting System," a government-owned network)

Fom the PBS website. PBS, headquartered in Alexandria Va., is a PRIVATE, non-profit, media enterprise owned and operated by the nations 349 public television stations. The Government does not own the PBS.

Interesting. I took Roland Hutchinson's "Oy!" to be a comment on my having used "Public Broadcasting System" instead of "Public Broadcasting Service."

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
The Government does not own the PBS.

Interesting. I took Roland Hutchinson's "Oy!" to be a comment on my having used "Public Broadcasting System" instead of "Public Broadcasting Service."

No, I confess that that particular gnat escaped my strainer. As others correctly surmised, I was oying the camel of calling PBS "government- owned".

Roland Hutchinson              Will play viola da gamba for food.

NB mail to my.spamtrap (at) verizon.net is heavily filtered to remove spam.  If your message looks like spam I may not see it.
Do You Speak American is a program which will appear on the US television network PBS ("Public Broadcasting System," a ... advocate of the first (and others are cited) and Geoffrey K. Pullum and Jesse Sheidlower as advocates of the second.

"Do You Speak American?" premieres on PBS this Wednesday, Jan. 5 (check your local listings). A good chance to hear from Messrs. Sheidlower, Labov, et al. (I'm also looking forward to hearing what Amy Heckerling, director of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Clueless", has to say.)

More here: .
Fom the PBS website. PBS, headquartered in Alexandria Va., is ... public television stations. The Government does not own the PBS.

Interesting. I took Roland Hutchinson's "Oy!" to be a comment on my having used "Public Broadcasting System" instead of "Public Broadcasting Service."

Since the others missed it, I'll Oy! the comma inside the ending quote mark. This has happened here a couple of times recently.
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