Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language
'More than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to...' Only Bill Bryson could make a book about the English language so entertaining. With his boundless enthusiasm and restless eye for the absurd, this is his astonishing tour of English. From its... show more
'More than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to...'
Only Bill Bryson could make a book about the English language so entertaining. With his boundless enthusiasm and restless eye for the absurd, this is his astonishing tour of English. From its mongrel origins to its status as the world's most-spoken tongue; its apparent simplicity to its deceptive complexity; its vibrant swearing to its uncertain spelling and pronunciation, Bryson covers all this as well as the many curious eccentricities that make it as maddening to learn as it is flexible to use.
Bill Bryson's classic Mother Tongue is a highly readable and hilarious tale of how English came to be the world's language.
Publish date: 2009-09-01
Pages no: 269
Edition language: English
I'm partial to Bill Bryson's writing to start with - I enjoy his subtle and not-so-subtle snark. As an expat who often gets comments about her accent, word choice, or idiom use and is sometimes forced to defend the same, I've become interested in the English language across different cultures, so I...
Twenty years from publication, some of it is probably outdated, and Bryson was never a linguist, so it isn't definitive. It's just delightful, which is why I have to read it again every decade or so. Personal copy
The Mother Tongue is the story of the evolution of the English language, from its humble beginnings as a Germanic tongue to what it has evolved into over the centuries.So, Bill Bryson + cheap equals insta-buy for me, apparently. Too bad even Bill Bryson couldn't make this terribly entertaining.I hav...
A charmer. I wrote a blog post about it: http://blog.cplesley.com/2015/06/ways-with-words.html.
This is one memorable beginning to a book on language on page 1:Warning to motorists in Tokyo:"When a passenger of the foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet at him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigour".Made me laugh out loud.The book gives...