MacNeil, the author of Do You Speak American? and the former cohost of the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour weighs in on the shaping of American language.
Why do dialects and slang persist?
Americans are speaking less alike, not more. Dialects are a badge of local identity and pride, in a world where so much else seems to be homogenized.
As for slang, it is quintessentially American and highly creative. According to Jesse Sheidlower, American editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, slang is "the American spirit distilled into language."
What do you think are some of the stranger words that have been taken into American English in recent history?
Some new words I find strange but amusing are a flight attendant saying, "We are late leaving the gate because we overboarded the aircraft." Teenagers in California calling a girl butterface, because everything about her is great but her face.
Finally -- importantly -- your take: Should Internet be capitalized? I suppose so, but I'm not sure, and I am in a hotel room with no reference books at hand. I capitalize it... I think!