... an important book that reaches across the fields of sociolinguistics and cultural and ethnic history ... There are many terrific examples of New York speech throughout this text and White contextualizes them all extremely well. Highly recommended.
... offers a delightful eavesdrop of conversations over the centuries, paying particular attention to the city’s unmistakable dialect and why it has proceeded to earn such derision. It’s complicated ... To explain why New Yorkers talk the way they do, White explores slang, swearing, social class, economics, high culture, and the constant turnover of real estate. She lets the city do the talking and tells what may be the quintessential American story.
... lively and wide-ranging ... Hard-boiled New Yorkers will rejoice that Ms. White—a professor at Stony Brook University who is not herself a native—comes to her subject unburdened by nostalgia, so that the topic is never obscured by a scrim of schmaltz. You Talkin’ to Me? also goes far beyond linguistics, using New York speech to illuminate American culture, history and social class.