August Books 18) Mother Tongue

18) Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson. A good read on the history of English, including light on the “vulgar monosyllable” that has sometimes muttered about writing up. But a lot of it was recycled from other books on the subject I have read, and some of the facts have dated (five languages spoken in Yugoslavia, for instance). But it’s probably a sufficiently engaging non-academic introduction to the subject for those who are afraid of Barber’s The Story of Language or Aitchison’s Language Change: Progress or Decay. Also I must save up for an Oxford English Dictionary CD-ROM – or find a job with someone who has a work subscription to the on-line version.

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  1. annasiegfried says:

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