Special Event

Says Who? with Anne Curzan

Thursday, March 28, 2024 | 6:30 p.m.

$5 | Friedman Family Auditorium

Journey into the evolutionary landscape that is the English language as Planet Word hosts an evening with renowned linguist, professor, and Planet Word Advisory Board member Dr. Anne Curzan in the Friedman Family Auditorium. Dr. Curzan will talk about her latest book, Says Who?, in which she presents a surprisingly fun and refreshing take on the rules and conventions of English grammar. Stick around for a Q&A after the talk and remember to grab a pre-signed copy of Says Who?, available for purchase on-site.

Dr. Anne Curzan is the Geneva Smitherman Collegiate Professor of English Language and Literature, Linguistics, and Education at the University of Michigan. She encourages readers to become “caretakers, rather than gatekeepers,” of the English language, as she fearlessly (and hilariously) goes toe-to-toe with linguistic controversies surrounding traditional vs. nuanced usage of double negatives, gender-neutral titles, and good old-fashioned debates surrounding commas, colons, and semicolons. Through her thought-provoking insights, we’ll uncover key linguistic breakthroughs such as “celebrating new words or usages as signs of linguistic evolution,” and embracing “languages’ fluidity and adaptability over time.” This talk promises to be a true linguistic adventure!

For questions or concerns regarding accessibility needs, please contact [email protected].

Praise for Says Who?

“Never snooty or scoldy… Anne Curzan makes nerding out about language fun.” —Benjamin Dreyer, New York Times bestselling author

“A delightful exploration of the quirks and controversies in the English language . . . Whether you embrace your inner ‘grammando’ or inner ‘wordie,’ Says Who? is sure to satisfy anyone curious about language’s ever-shifting landscape.” —Ben Zimmer, language columnist for The Wall Street Journal

“Anne Curzan has accomplished the feat of addressing every possible language peeve anyone ever has, each one in tasty chapters not too short and not too long. No one could follow it: it’s a mic-drop.” —John McWhorter, New York Times bestselling author of Nine Nasty Words