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Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2001

    Great for Fans of Language

    Bill Bryson provides not only a history of English in the US, but many interesting sidelights of US History itself. With his wry humor, Bryson debunks (an Americanism derived from Bunkum) myths left and right. He begins with the Pilgirms (only a small part of who were Puritins) and goes through the political corectness movement of the late 20th century, examining the origin of words and phrases first spoken in America. Well written, funny and informative. What more could you want from a non-fiction work?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2000

    One of my absolute all-time favorite books

    OK - so this might not be as scholarly as Bill's 'Mother Tongue' (see 'two star' review below) and contains maybe one too many pages of word listings - but it's a wonderful read, and just as enjoyable as the earlier book. I've read my copy at least three times, and I've also found something that is a No-Brainer Automatic Gift Choice for any friend or family member with an inquisitive mind, an interest in US history and a birthday coming up. Do you want to know why Independence Day is really July 2nd? How close America really came to chosing German as a native language? This book is full of interesting and funny anecdotes told in Bryson's unique style and I would recommend it to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2000

    This should be taught in the schools

    Narrowing his scope from the wide field described in 'Mother Tongue', Bill Bryson's 'Made In America' is a delightful romp through the English language and how it was rendered, tweaked and mutated to what we know today. Peppered liberally with related popular culture and historical ancedotes, this is one of the most entertaining books I have ever read. If high school English teachers (History teachers as well) would deviate from their dry curriculum for few weeks during the school year and teach from this book, it could truly ignite more than a few young writers' imaginations.

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    Posted November 12, 2008

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    Posted November 7, 2009

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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