Skip to content

**** ****

100 Best Books to Read in Kindergarten poster kit ALA

Kindle ePUB The Mother Tongue English and How It Got That Way Read online


Characters The Mother Tongue English and How It Got That Way

The Mother Tongue English and How It Got That Way

Bryson tells the fascinating often uproarious story of an inadeuate second rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the world's largest growth industrie. Non fiction Published in 1990 this book is already a little out of date In its first pages Bryson reports OED editor Robert Burchfield s theory that American English and British English are drifting apart so rapidly that within two hundred years we won t be able to understand each other That was a theory made back when cell phones still reuired a battery the size of an unabridged dictionary long before the internet became such a large part of the way the world communicates in a time when you couldn t imagine downloading a British Doctor Who or an American Stargate Atlantis to your iPod We live in a new world Unfortunately it s also a world where the Harry Potter books are translated for American readers lest we be too confused by the lingo What s this Harry s eating a biscuit And wearing a jumper While battling Fizzolian Snargletoothed Whatsits This book is impenetrable JK Rowling aside with communication technology becoming smaller cheaper and powerful I think we ll still be able to communicate two hundred years down the line Bryson eventually disagrees with Burchfield for many of the same reasons though he was unable to cite the internet as a factorIn that way this book is showing its age the chapter on online language use is of course conspicuously absent but it s got the history part down Bryson spends most of his time looking at how we got where we are today Where English came from how it got to England where it went from there With its in text references footnotes extensive bibliography and index this book looks almost academic but Bryson an American living in England handles it all with a cheerfully low key sense of humor almost as if Terry Pratchett had turned his eye to grammar and even a refreshingly open approach to the word fuck in the chapter on swearingMy one complaint is that despite being loosely hung on British and American history for the most part the book lacks a greater structure and ends up reading like a series of interesting facts But hell they got my attention and as it happened the attention of everyone around me Hey Did you know the Romans had no word for grey Since English as this book proves is a big crazy mess I guess Bryson can be excused for not being able to wrangle its history into a pleasing order Lack of structure aside I really enjoyed reading this and will be reading books by Bryson in the future

Review ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ø Bill Bryson

Nce 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. I know exactly a little bit about English and a little bit less about linguistics in general Studied a few foreign languages took a linguistics class or two in college I m what you might call a big fan of language A dabbler Certainly not an expert But boy did I find this book infuriatingMy problem with this book is that it gets so much right and so much wrong The example that really set me off was his treatment of the Welsh language To Bryson Welsh is as unpronounceable as it looks and Welsh pronunciations rarely bear much relation to their spellings He then spouts off with a series of jokes that are so ethnocentric and condescending that if you took them at face value you couldn t help but feel sorry for the poor backward speakers of silly old WelshThe problem is he s completely wrong I happened to study the phonology and orthography of Welsh for about a week in that freshman linguistics class I know that makes me a big authority right but in that week I learned something Bryson apparently never bothered to look up Welsh orthography is remarkably regular about as regular as Spanish It s not at all difficult if you bother to learn the rules which are far simpler than those of English The fact that I learned them in one week and remember them decades later should be some indication of how easy they are The phoneme represented by the double l is called a lateral fricative and yes it s hard to pronounce if you don t speak Welsh but that does not mean it s sometimes pronounced kl and other times thl as Bryson suggests It is always pronounced just like it s spelled But Bryson s Anglo American tin ear failed to pick that up and he took his ignorance and turned it into a cheap joke at another culture s expenseKnowing that he got Welsh so wrong made me doubt all of the rest of the information in the book And that s a real shame because it covers such fascinating topics and it s so very entertainingly written But it s hard to enjoy Bryson s jokes when you have this nagging suspicion that he s bending the truth for the sake of a snappy punchline

Bill Bryson Ø 2 Review

With dazzling wit and astonishing insight Bill Bryson the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent brilliantly explores the remarkable history eccentricities resilie. The one thing that bothered me the most about this book was a huge error it had on swearwords in reference to my mother tongue Finnish p 210 Ch Swearing in my Penguin paperback Some cultures don t swear at all The Finns lacking the sort of words you need to describe your feelings when you stub your toe getting up to answer a phone at 200 am rather oddly adopted the word ravintolassa It means in the restaurant I mean what the hell We Finns have probably the world s most colourful collection of swearwords Someone pulled old Bill s leg and did it properly too That casts doubt on all he has written really And nobody says ravintolassa unless they do in fact mean in the restaurant

  • Paperback
  • 270
  • The Mother Tongue English and How It Got That Way
  • Bill Bryson
  • English
  • 05 August 2017
  • 9780380715435

About the Author: Bill Bryson

William McGuire Bill Bryson OBE FRS was born in Des Moines Iowa in 1951 He settled in England in 1977 and worked in journalism until he became a full time writer He lived for many years with his English wife and four children in North Yorkshire He and his family then moved to New Hampshire in America for a few years but they have now returned to live in the UKIn The Lost Continent Bil



10 thoughts on “The Mother Tongue English and How It Got That Way

  1. says:

    I have to share my discontent with the world after keeping the words bottled up inside me for so longI bought th

  2. says:

    The one thing that bothered me the most about this book was a huge error it had on swearwords in reference to my mother tongue Finnish p 210 Ch Swearing in my Penguin paperback “Some cultures don’t swear at all The Finns lacking the sort of words you need to describe your feelings when you stub your toe getting up to answer a phone at 200 am rather oddly adopted the word “ravintolassa” It means ‘in the restaura

  3. says:

    The Mother Tongue is the story of the evolution of the English language from its humble beginnings as a Germanic tongue to

  4. says:

    I gave this book 4 stars for an enjoyable reading experience But if I'm being honest I'm not entirely sure how accurate it is The idea of this being credible nonfiction came to a bit of screeching halt for me whe

  5. says:

    I know exactly a little bit about English and a little bit less about linguistics in general Studied a few foreign languages took a linguistics class or two in college I'm what you might call a big fan of language A dabbler Certainly not an

  6. says:

    Ever since I learned to read English has been my favourite language I took to it like a duck takes to water at least I guess they take to it willingly and that baby ducks are not paddled until their feathers fly by Mamma Duck to make them This was the cause of the eternal chagrin of my mother who being a staunch nationalist wanted me to prefer Hindi over English She recited to me a famous couplet in Malayalam which saidOther languages are

  7. says:

    Non fiction Published in 1990 this book is already a little out of date In its first pages Bryson reports OED editor Robert Burchfield's theory that American English and British English are drifting apart so rapidly that within two hundred years we won't be able to understand each other That was a theory made back when cell phones still reuired a battery the size of an unabridged dictionary long before the internet be

  8. says:

    1★ DNFI thought this would be fun I love words and languages and have a passing interest in linguistics I started this with enthusiasm and was enjoying his breezy style until it occurred to me that a lot of what he was saying seemed to be anecdotal You know limited or no research Then I thought well it was written than 25 years ago so things that sounded like old stories to me may have been new stories then

  9. says:

    What a hilarious fascinating and educational look at our wacky wonderful and WAY complicated language If English is your mother tongue this b

  10. says:

    I teach English as a foreign language but other than that linguistics and language learning is just a hobby having said that I know enough Irish German Czech Russian and Spanish to know that the things he said about these languages are half truths or complete and utter codswallop For example claiming that the German prepositionsuffix auf is unusual among foreign words in that it has than one meaning anyone wh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *