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Friday, May 23, 2008

Bryson is a wonderful writer, and this is quite the interesting topic. Particularly for someone who enjoys words and using them well. Bryson includes a number of comparisons between English and various languages .. for instance, how English only has the word 'you' while in most other languages there are at least three or four different varieties to choose from when addressing someone else. And he is careful to make sure these go both ways .. expressing how in some ways English is simpler than other languages, but also how confusing it can be with grammar and vocabulary and simple changes bringing large changes in meaning.

There are a nice divisions for chapters .. names, spelling, pronunciation, swearing, wordplay .. and others relating to both the history and future of words and language. Of course Bryson uses good vocabulary in this book (how else could one write a book about the English language?!), so it was good for my brain to read this book. Not only was I learning as I read (and also wanting to share random facts with friends who weren't always so interested..), but I was using my brain and being reminded of words I don't get a chance to use often. This is a book I am sure I will read again.

Title:The Mother Tongue: English and how it got that way
Author: Bill Bryson
Date published:1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Number of pages: 245
Notes: from danny & anita


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