Images of English: A Cultural History of the Language

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Overview

Images of English was the first book to focus exclusively on opinions about the language as they have evolved through time. Through the use of abundant quotations, Richard Bailey lets voices from the past speak to our present assumptions and challenges the notion of English triumphalism throughout the world and the ages. The book offers a unique historical perspective on attitudes towards the language. We see that journalists who fill anxious columns on slow news-days with fulminations on linguistic deterioration are embellishing centuries of complaint; that women who campaign for a language free of patriarchy and suited to themselves express a yearning first conveyed long ago; that teachers who recommend the vigour of Anglo-Saxon words are sustaining an idea that emerged four hundred years ago in notions about racial purity.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Marsh (Russian, U. of Exeter) analyzes the literacy presentation of historical character and the treatment of 20th century tyrants in European prose fiction, comparing German treatments of Hitler and Russian treatments of Stalin. She explores Stalin's portrayal by Soviet, emigre Russian, and European writers, including Orwell, Nabokov, Pasternak, and Solzhenitsyn. An interesting project. By examining the attitudes toward English of authors, critics, commentators, and others whose medium is the language, Bailey (English language and literature, U. of Michigan) illuminates how their comments offer insights into the social conditions of their times. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521105699
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/19/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

1. English Discerned; 2. Emergent English; 3. English Abroad; 4. World English; 5. English Transplanted; 6. Postcolonial English; 7. English Improved; 8. Imaginary English; 9. English Imperiled; 10. Proper English.

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