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Elizabeth G. Morris Library Outreach Program
Presents Series on Word Origins

RELEASED: Feb. 24, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — "Fun with Our Native Tongue" will be the topic of a discussion series on word origins and regional dialects offered through the Elizabeth Morris Library Outreach Program on Mondays, March 7 through April 4, at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.

Erica J. Benson, assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, will present the discussions from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Chippewa Room in the lower level of the library. No registration is required to attend the series, which is free and open to the public.

The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library and the UW-Eau Claire Foundation through the Elizabeth G. Morris Fund sponsor the Elizabeth Morris Library Outreach Program. John Morris, a longtime UW-Eau Claire English faculty member and administrator who died in 2003, created the fund in 1999 in memory of his wife, Elizabeth Morris, also a longtime English faculty member, who died in 1999.

Benson, who specializes in the study of language variation and dialect changes of American English, will explore widely held beliefs about language from both historical and contemporary perspectives. The series opens with an examination of the origins of words, followed by an exploration of current and historical perspectives on proper English and language change. The final two sessions will explore the vitality of American regional dialects.

The discussions will be based on information in the books "A History of English in Its Own Words" by Craig Carver, "Language Myths" edited by Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill, and "How We Talk: American Regional English Today" by Allan Metcalf. These books may be borrowed from the library. Visit www.eauclaire.lib.wi.us to check availability or to request a copy.

Members of the community are welcome to attend one or all of the discussions. Those needing a sign language interpreter or other special accommodations for the discussion series should notify information and reference at the library (715) 839-5004, TDD (715) 839-1689 at least 48 hours before the program.

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KH

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