Kinzler admirably steers clear of stressing tenets such as 'People speak differently with intimates than in formal settings,' which hardly seem like hot news to most of us. What makes sociolinguistics a subject worth engaging with are the surprises, and Kinzler’s book is full of them. She reveals the extent to which language imprints our brains and how we are neurologically programmed to be sensitive to it ... This is vital counsel ... How You Say It makes a crisp but comprehensive case, while dropping us in on what sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic research teaches, that although our distaste for ways of speaking that differ from ours is baked into us, true civilization requires that we work against it as much as possible.
... persuasive ... Making judicious use of her own research as well as that of others, the author shows the deep roots of our reactions to language and its variations. Kinzler’s research is particularly fascinating ... Writing informally and concisely, Kinzler aims to raise our awareness of this unnoticed prejudice so that we can put an end to it. An articulate examination of an underrecognized aspect of human communication.