The Mother Tongue

English and How it Got that Way

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Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062417444

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 320

View: 1864

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.

Mother Tongue

The Story of the English Language

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Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher: Penguin Books Limited

ISBN: 9780141040080

Category: English language

Page: 269

View: 9410

The author of the acclaimed The Lost Continent now steers us through the quirks and byways of the English language. We learn why island, freight, and colonel are spelled in such unphonetic ways, why four has a u in it but forty doesn't, plus bizarre and enlightening facts about some of the patriarchs of this peculiar language.

The Story of English

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Author: Robert McCrum,William Cran,Robert MacNeil

Publisher: Penguin Group USA

ISBN: 9780142002315

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 468

View: 5532

Presents the history of the English language from its obscure Anglo-Saxon origins to its present status as the world's most prominent and fast-growing international language.

Righting the Mother Tongue

From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling

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Author: David Wolman

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061981974

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 224

View: 3653

“A funny and fact-filled look at our astoundingly inconsistent written language, from Shakespeare to spell-check.” —St. Petersburg Times David Wolman explores seven hundred years of trial, error, and reform that have made the history of English spelling a jumbled and fascinating mess. In Righting the Mother Tongue, the author of A Left-Hand Turn Around the World brings us the tangled story of English Spelling, from Olde English to email. Utterly captivating, deliciously edifying, and extremely witty, Righting the Mother Tongue is a treat for the language lover—a book that belongs in every personal library, right next to Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, and the works of Bill Bryson and Simon Winchester.

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue

The Untold History of English

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Author: John McWhorter

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1592404944

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 230

View: 1114

A survey of the English language's usage mysteries considers the ways in which English developed and how it may reflect cultural values, in a reference that covers such topics as Celtic and Welsh influences, the origins of specific syntax patterns, and the role of language in forming early Britain. 25,000 first printing.

The Adventure of English

The Biography of a Language

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Author: Melvyn Bragg

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

ISBN: 1628720247

Category: Reference

Page: 336

View: 5614

Here is the riveting story of the English language, from its humble beginnings as a regional dialect to its current preeminence as the one global language, spoken by more than two billion people worldwide. In this groundbreaking book, Melvyn Bragg shows how English conquered the world. It is a magnificent adventure, full of jealousy, intrigue, and war—against a hoard of invaders, all armed with their own conquering languages, which bit by bit, the speakers of English absorbed and made their own. Along the way, its colorful story takes in a host of remarkable people, places, and events: the Norman invasion of England in 1066; the arrival of The Canterbury Tales and a “coarse” playwright named William Shakespeare, who added 2,000 words to the language; the songs of slaves; the words of Davy Crockett; and the Lewis and Clark expedition, which led to hundreds of new words as the explorers discovered unknown flora and fauna. The Adventure of English is an enthralling story not only of power, religion, and trade, but also of a people and how they changed the world.

Mother Tongue

A Saga of Three Generations of Balkan Women

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Author: Tania Romanov

Publisher: Travelers' Tales

ISBN: 1609521285

Category: Travel

Page: N.A

View: 4007

What is your mother tongue? Sometimes the simplest questions take a book to answer. Such is the case with Tania Romanov’s story. Mother Tongue is an exploration of lives lived in the chaos of a part of the world known as the Balkans. It follows the lives of three generations of women—Katarina, Zora, and Tania—over the last 100 years. It follows countries that dissolved, formed, and reformed. Lands that were conquered and subjugated by Fascists and Nazis and nationalists. Lives lived in exile, in refugee camps, in new worlds. What language did you speak with your mother? What language did you speak with your father? What language did you speak with your brother? For Tania Romanov there are three different answers to those questions. Did you speak your mother tongue with anyone except your mother? That is the most bizarre question of all. But for Tania Romanov, the answer is no. She spoke a unique language with her mother, one in which she is still fluent. And by the way, it was not her mother’s native language. The language is Serbian. Tania’s mother was Croatian. Her father was Russian. Tania was born in Serbia, but left when she was six months old. She and her brother grew up in San Francisco speaking English. She didn’t speak any language until she was two. Tania doesn’t know why she spoke Serbian, rather than Croatian, with her mother Zora. It never occurred to her to ask until she started writing her memoir. And by then, her mother was gone. The country of birth listed on Tania’s American passport changed four times in four successive renewals. Until the first time, she believed your country of birth was a fixed point. Today she knows better. Go with her as she journeys through time and history looking for answers, and finding some.

Our Mother Tongue

Answer Key

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Author: Nancy Wilson

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781591280163

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 60

View: 3166

A lesson-by-lesson answer key for all chapters of the text Our Mother Tongue.

Inventing English

A Portable History of the Language

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Author: Seth Lerer

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231541244

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 320

View: 7990

Seth Lerer tells a masterful history of the English language from the age of Beowulf to the rap of Eminem. Many have written about the evolution of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary, but only Lerer situates these developments within the larger history of English, America, and literature. This edition features a new chapter on the influence of biblical translation and an epilogue on the relationship of English speech to writing. A unique blend of historical and personal narrative, Inventing English is the surprising tale of a language that is as dynamic as the people to whom it belongs.

Dancing at the Edge of the World

Thoughts on Words, Women, Places

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Author: Ursula K. Le Guin

Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic

ISBN: 0802165664

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 452

View: 3325

“I have decided that the trouble with print is, it never changes its mind,” writes Ursula Le Guin in her introduction to Dancing at the Edge of the World. But she has, and here is the record of that change in the decade since the publication of her last nonfiction collection, The Language of the Night. And what a mind — strong, supple, disciplined, playful, ranging over the whole field of its concerns, from modern literature to menopause, from utopian thought to rodeos, with an eloquence, wit, and precision that makes for exhilarating reading.

The Language of Global Success

How a Common Tongue Transforms Multinational Organizations

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Author: Tsedal Neeley

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400888646

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 200

View: 1503

For nearly three decades, English has been the lingua franca of cross-border organizations, yet studies on corporate language strategies and their importance for globalization have been scarce. In The Language of Global Success, Tsedal Neeley provides an in-depth look at a single organization—the high-tech giant Rakuten—in the five years following its English lingua franca mandate. Neeley’s behind-the-scenes account explores how language shapes the ways in which employees who work in global organizations communicate and negotiate linguistic and cultural differences. Drawing on 650 interviews conducted across Rakuten’s locations in Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States, Neeley argues that an organization’s lingua franca is the catalyst by which all employees become some kind of “expat”—someone detached from their mother tongue or home culture. Through her unfettered access to the inner workings of Rakuten, she reveals three distinct social groups: “linguistic expats,” who live in their home country yet have to give up their native language in the workplace; “cultural expats,” or native speakers of the lingua franca, who struggle with organizational values that are more easily transmitted after language barriers are removed; and finally “linguistic-cultural expats,” who, while native to neither the lingua franca nor the organization’s home culture, surprisingly have the easiest time adjusting to language changes. Neeley demonstrates that language can serve as the conduit for an unfamiliar culture, often in unexpected ways, and that there are lessons to be learned for all global companies as they confront language and culture challenges. Examining the strategic use of language by one international corporation, The Language of Global Success uncovers how all organizations might integrate language effectively to tap into the promise of globalization.

English as a Global Language

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Author: David Crystal

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107611806

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 212

View: 4196

David Crystal's classic English as a Global Language considers the history, present status and future of the English language, focusing on its role as the leading international language. English has been deemed the most 'successful' language ever, with 1500 million speakers internationally, presenting a difficult task to those who wish to investigate it in its entirety. However, Crystal explores the subject in a measured but engaging way, always backing up observations with facts and figures. Written in a detailed and fascinating manner, this is a book written by an expert both for specialists in the subject and for general readers interested in the English language.

Made in America

An Informal History of American English

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Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1784161861

Category: Americanisms

Page: 566

View: 2717

'Funny, wise, learned and compulsive' - GQ Bill Bryson turns away from travelling the highways and byways of middle America, so hilariously depicted in his bestselling The Lost Continent, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and Notes from a Big Country, for a fast, exhilarating ride along the Route 66 of American language and popular culture. In Made in America, Bryson tells the story of how American arose out of the English language, and along the way, de-mythologizes his native land - explaining how a dusty desert hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how they were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up - as well as exposing the true origins of the words G-string, blockbuster, poker and snafu. 'A tremendously sassy work, full of zip, pizzazz and all those other great American qualities' Will Self, Independent on Sunday

Globish: How English Became the World's Language

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Author: Robert McCrum

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393339777

Category: History

Page: 331

View: 1568

Discusses how Anglo-American has become the language of the world, and describes the changes that English has brought to far-away cultures in distant places.

The Stories of English

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Author: David Crystal

Publisher: The Overlook Press

ISBN: 1468306170

Category: History

Page: 608

View: 4626

The groundbreaking history of the English language, fusing chronological with anecdotal and etymological accounts of individual word-histories, to create not one story, but many stories. The English language is now accepted as the global lingua franca of the modern age, spoken or written in by over a quarter of the human race. But how did it evolve? How did a language spoken originally by a few thousand Anglo-Saxons become one used by more than 1,500 million? What developments can be seen as we move from Beowulf to Chaucer to Shakespeare to Dickens and the present day? A host of fascinating questions are answered in The Stories of English, a groundbreaking history of the language by David Crystal, the world-renowned writer and commentator on English. Many books have been written about English, but they have all focused on a single variety: the educated, printed language called “standard” English. David Crystal turns the history of English on its head and instead provides a startlingly original view of where the richness, creativity and diversity of the language truly lies—in the accents and dialects of nonstandard English users all over the world. Whatever their regional, social or ethnic background, each group has a story worth telling, whether it is in Scotland or Somerset, South Africa or Singapore. Interweaved within this central chronological story are accounts of uses of dialect around the world as well as in literary classics from The Canterbury Tales to The Lord of the Rings. For the first time, regional speech and writing is placed center stage, giving a sense of the social realities behind the development of English. This significant shift in perspective enables the reader to understand for the first time the importance of everyday, previously marginalized, voices in our language and provides an argument too for the way English should be taught in the future.

The Lost Continent

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Author: Bill Bryson

Publisher: Anchor Canada

ISBN: 0385674562

Category: Travel

Page: 352

View: 5705

"I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to." And, as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough, he left. Des Moines couldn't hold him, but it did lure him back. After ten years in England he returned to the land of his youth, and drove almost 14,000 miles in search of a mythical small town called Amalgam, the kind of smiling village where the movies from his youth were set. Instead he drove through a series of horrific burgs, which he renamed Smellville, Fartville, Coleslaw, Coma, and Doldrum. At best his search led him to Anywhere, USA, a lookalike strip of gas stations, motels and hamburger outlets populated by obese and slow-witted hicks with a partiality for synthetic fibres. He discovered a continent that was doubly lost: lost to itself because he found it blighted by greed, pollution, mobile homes and television; lost to him because he had become a foreigner in his own country.

The Origin of Language

Tracing the Evolution of the Mother Tongue

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Author: Merritt Ruhlen

Publisher: Wiley

ISBN: 9780471159636

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 256

View: 6234

The Origin of Language A critically acclaimed journey back through time in search of the Mother Tongue and the roots of the human family "Invites the reader to learn and apply the common process used by linguists." —Science News "This book represents exactly the kind of thinking that is needed to pull historical linguistics out of its twentieth-century doldrums. . . . [W]ithout a doubt, a very readable book, well adapted to its popularizing aim." —LOS Forum "Believing that doing is learning, Ruhlen encourages his readers to try their hand (and eye) at classifying languages. This exercise helps us appreciate the challenges inherent in this fascinating and controversial science of comparative linguistics." —Booklist "Ruhlen is a leader in the new attempt to write the unified theory of language development and diffusion." —Library Journal "A powerful statement [and] also a wonderfully clear exposition of linguistic thinking about prehistory. . . . [Q]uite solid and very well presented." —Anthropological Science

Our Mother Tongue

An Introductory Guide to English Grammar

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Author: Nancy Wilson

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781591280118

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 183

View: 4880

The importance of the spoken and written word in Christian culture cannot be overestimated. In this English grammar guide, Nancy Wilson surveys the major concepts in English grammar for beginners at the late elementary and junior high level (even adults seeking a brush-up). Wilson avoids common, contrived sentences that serve merely to illustrate her point; instead, she uses many selections from Scripture and from great English writers which help to instruct the student through their content, style, and structure. In addition to a helpful format that highlights key definitions, punctuation issues, and important concepts, short historical sidebars tell the fascinating story of the development of English. She continues the traditional and challenging exercise of sentence diagramming, which trains students to quickly ananlyze the structure of any given sentence. The grammatical explanations, the logic of diagrams, and the rhetoric of her examples blend with complementary emphases to create a helpful classical and Christian text.