What is English?: And Why Should We Care?

Overview


What is English? Can we be as certain as we usually are when we say something is not English? To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

Finding an account that fits the constantly ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (13) from $29.15   
  • New (12) from $29.15   
  • Used (1) from $32.92   
Sending request ...

Overview


What is English? Can we be as certain as we usually are when we say something is not English? To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

Finding an account that fits the constantly changing varieties of English is, Tim Machan finds, anything but simple. But he rises to the challenge, grappling with its elusive essence through episodes in its history. He looks at the ambitions of Caxton, the preoccupations of Johnson, and the eloquence of Churchill, tussles with the jargons of contemporary business, and pursues his object from rural America to James Cook's Australia. He examines creoles, pidgins, and dialects, and takes apart competing histories showing their assumptions and prejudices. Finally he reveals the stable category English, resting paradoxically within its constantly mutating forms and varieties.

This is a book for everyone interested in English and the role of language in society and culture.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"English never stands still. This intelligent and entertaining book illuminates how a global language depends on that flux." --The Times

"Especially valuable are the many interesting connections Machan makes among conceptions of English in different times and places... A rewarding book for anyone interested in the English language, especially students of English and educators. Highly recommended." --Choice

"[A] rewarding book for anyone interested in the English language... Highly recommended." --Choice

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199601257
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2013
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 711,513
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Machan is Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. His books include English in the Middle Ages and Language Anxiety published by Oxford University Press in 2003 and 2009 respectively, and Vafþrúðnismál published by the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part One: The Consequences of Definition
1. The River of English
Part Two: English by the Books
2. Words in the Shape of English
3. When Words Die
4. Space and Time
5. The Genius of our Tongue
Part Three: English in Action
6. English for the English
7. Beyond Britain
8. English in the South Seas
9. English in the Classroom, I: American Indian Boarding Schools
10. English in the Classroom, II: Industrial English
11. The English-speaking Peoples
part Four: Beyond English
12. Defining Moments
Bibliography
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)