chapter  1
Speech Acts: Language, Mobility and Place
ByMICHAEL CRONIN
Pages 15

John Steinbeck knows that companionship demands speech. Even when the companion is his dog Charley, the question of human speech seems inescapable. What is also inescapable is that human speech is plural and, in the case of Charley, Steinbeck’s travel mate on his odyssey through the United States, this plurality makes a di erence:

He [Charley] was born in Bercy on the outskirts of Paris and trained in France, and while he knows a little poodle-English, he responds quickly only to commands in French. Otherwise, he has to translate and that slows him down.1