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The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way by [Bryson, Bill]

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The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 274 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

Product description

Amazon.com Review

Who would have thought that a book about English would be so entertaining? Certainly not this grammar-allergic reviewer, but The Mother Tongue pulls it off admirably. Bill Bryson--a zealot--is the right man for the job. Who else could rhapsodize about "the colorless murmur of the schwa" with a straight face? It is his unflagging enthusiasm, seeping from between every sentence, that carries the book.

Bryson displays an encyclopedic knowledge of his topic, and this inevitably encourages a light tone; the more you know about a subject, the more absurd it becomes. No jokes are necessary, the facts do well enough by themselves, and Bryson supplies tens per page. As well as tossing off gems of fractured English (from a Japanese eraser: "This product will self-destruct in Mother Earth."), Bryson frequently takes time to compare the idiosyncratic tongue with other languages. Not only does this give a laugh (one word: Welsh), and always shed considerable light, it also makes the reader feel fortunate to speak English.

Review

Not only fascinating but extremely funny (Angus Deayton)

The sort of linguistics I like, anecdotal, full of revelations, and with not one dull paragraph (Ruth Rendell Sunday Times)

A gold mine of language-anecdote, information, curiosity. A suprise on every page... enthralling (Observer)

Delightful, amusing and provoking... A joyful celebration of our wonderful language, which is packed with curiosities and enlightenment on every page (Sunday Express)

A delightful survey - though with its good humour, wealth of anecdote, and boyish enthusiasm, "romp" would be a better word. (David Crystal)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 918 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (2 June 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00T3DR56C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,762 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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7 customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

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