The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way

The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way

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by Bill Bryson
     
 

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With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Bryson—the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent—brilliantly explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience and sheer fun of the English language. From the first descent of the larynx into the throat (why you can talk but your dog can't), to the fine lost art of swearing, Bryson

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Overview

With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Bryson—the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent—brilliantly explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience and sheer fun of the English language. From the first descent of the larynx into the throat (why you can talk but your dog can't), to the fine lost art of swearing, Bryson tells the fascinating, often uproarious story of an inadequate, second-rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the world's largest growth industries.

Editorial Reviews

Burt Hochberg
Its story has been told before, but seldom as deftly or as memorably as the journalist Bill Bryson tells it in ''The Mother Tongue.'' He begins at the beginning - with the evolutional descent of the larynx into the throat, which is why you cannot swallow and breathe at the same time and also ''why you can speak and your dog cannot'' - and concludes with some informed speculations on where English is headed. Along the way, he leads us through an enthralling excursion through etymology, pronunciation, spelling, dialects, grammar, the origins of proper names, wordplay and other major and minor aspects of the language. What an engaging tour guide he is; Mr. Bryson is having so much fun himself that we can't help sharing his pleasure in turning up odd, interesting facts or in pointing out grammatical blunders committed by famous grammarians. Every page contains at least one passage that demands to be read aloud. ''The Mother Tongue'' is a mother lode of delectable trivia. -- New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062417442
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/02/2015
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
3,090
File size:
1 MB

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