Watch: writers debate language in “Mad Men” on NY Times website

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So much research and effort have gone into coloring within the generation-specific lines of the Mad Men era. But there's one thing that viewers take issue with, and John McWhorter of The New Republic and Benjamin Zimmer from the NY Times address it in a video on the NY Times website. (Which we aren't able to embed, despite our best hacking skills): The language. Apparently, viewers are complaining that the speech of Mad Men isn't in keeping with the times. Why so casual? Why not more like Cary Grant or Grace Kelley movies of the same era?

McWhorter makes a good point: the way stars spoke in movies of that time do not reflect how real people spoke. (Though there are no recordings of actual mothers yelling at their kids in the security of their own homes, so we can only guess. Or just listen your grandparents. Really.) If anything, the speech in Mad Men is more buttoned-up than necessary. McWhorter points out there are no "gonna" 's, only "going to" 's. (Although it was pretty informal when Stan Rizzo busted into Peggy's office and goes, "Did you just fart?" in episode six of this season.)

It's a cool little discussion, you can watch the whole conversation here.