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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language [Anglais] [Broché]

David Crystal

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Description de l'ouvrage

4 août 2003
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language is one of the publishing phenomena of recent times. Rarely has a book so packed with accurate and well researched factual information been so widely read and popularly acclaimed. It has played a key role in the spread of general interest in language matters, generating further publications and broadcasting events for an avid audience. Its First Edition appeared in hardback in 1995 and a revised paperback in 1997. There have been numerous subsequent updated reprintings; but this Second Edition now presents an overhaul of the subject for a new generation of language-lovers and of teachers, students and professional English-users concerned with their own linguistic legacy. The length of the book has been extended and there are 44 new illustrations, extensive new material on world English and Internet English, and a complete updating of statistics, further reading suggestions and other references.

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

'A delight and a treasure … David Crystal does a brilliant job of satisfying our curiosity about our mother tongue while illuminating the deepest questions of who we are and where we come from. A magnificent achievement.' Steven Pinker, Harvard

'David Crystal is phenomenal … This is a prodigious achievement … The book contains breadth of range, imaginative insight, and deep understanding … It is pervasively readable and stimulating.' Lord Quirk

'… a superb work that manages to be both scholarly and vastly entertaining … This is a deeply impressive book, for it packs between two covers virtually everything any normal person might care to know about English.' The Washington Post Book World

'… bedazzles … with an eye-popping presentation of … the mother tongue.' The New York Times

'… scholarly and entertaining … the range, scholarly value, interest, attractiveness and (often) humour of the tables, graphics, illustrations, photographs, colour plates, maps, and quoted material is quite stunning. rarely has serious information been presented so colourfully, so strikingly. A splendid work, essential in all libraries and destined to live a long and useful life.' Reference Reviews

'I have been unable to think of a question this book cannot answer … I will risk predicting that Professor Crystal will not be superseded much before the message sent into space on Voyager I … receives an answer.' Times Literary Supplement

'… it gives … the whole history and grammar, all the theory and practice of English with precision, panache and wit.' The Observer

'… without a doubt one of the most beautiful and enlightening volumes I have handled in some years.' Western Australia Sunday Times

'… an outstanding work … The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language will surely remain the definite text in the field for some time to come.'

'…the most diverting, delightful, imaginative and altogether entertaining compilation ever assembled about spoken and written English.' Parade Magazine

'… bedazzles you with an eye-popping presentation of the cluck-clucking of the mother tongue. If you like fireworks with your information, this is a worthwhile language book …' William Safire, The New York Times Magazine

'… this remarkable book is a goldmine of learning and knowledge … All readers … should find great value, and great pleasure, in this amazing reference book.' Cambridge

'… contains a monstrous amount of information on a fascinating topic arranged in a clear, concise, and, above all, entertaining manner - a dangerous combination indeed, and one that can only lead to uncontrolable reading binges lasting hours or perhaps days.' Quill and Quire

'You can open it to any page and be enthralled.' Indianapolis News

'the Encyclopedia is, of course, a serious work of scholarship, but it is eminently readable.' The Hindu

Biographie de l'auteur

David Crystal is one of the world's foremost authorities on language.

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Dans ce livre (En savoir plus)
Première phrase
The history of English is a fascinating field of study in its own right, but it also provides a valuable perspective for the contemporary study of the language, and thus makes an appropriate opening section for this book. Lire la première page
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Parcourir les pages échantillon
Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.6 étoiles sur 5  30 commentaires
43 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Everything you need to know, in one place! 5 janvier 2000
Par Adelie - Publié sur
This is essentially a "twofer" review - everything I say about this book also applies to Crystal's "Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language."
I fell in love with language long ago, so pounced on this book when it first appeared on my horizon several years ago. Since then, I have learned to keep it close by - it migrates from the coffee table to my night table to the bathroom to the breakfast table - I need it handy. I refer to it constantly, and often find myself opening it at random and immediately being hooked by whatever subject comes up.
It's a tremendous compendium of easily accessible information on all aspects of the English language, and there are nuggets of value throughout. It is well-written in a lively, non-pedantic style, and has plenty of illustrations to reinforce understanding and make it more interesting. It's appropriate for most ages except very young children, and is a terrific way to introduce anyone to the wonders and mysteries of our language.
The same remarks hold true for Crystal's "Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language." That work is presented in the same way, but with much a broader scope - it covers all aspects of human language. I like to browse in it and then get greater detail from the English Language book - they work very well together.
I'm in awe of Crystal's ability to present such huge subjects so coherently and in such a comprehensive and fascinating way.
I strongly recommend both books, for you or for anyone you care about.
26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Snappy yet Voluminous 25 janvier 2003
Par Chris Crawford - Publié sur
David Crystal impresses me with his combination of elegant erudition, intellectual open-mindedness, and conciseness. In writing this book, he imposed a harsh constraint upon his writing: every topic had to fit into a two-page spread. The result is insidiously like potato chips: it's such an easy read, you can't help but reading "just one more spread".
The breadth of knowledge that he brings to bear on the subject is astounding; his bibiography reads like a catalog of Western intellectual history. Time and again, I found myself marking a point with a note to delve into the matter more deeply.
Intellectual integrity is another impressive component of his writing. He cheerfully acknowledges difficult issues and treats linguistic variation with respect, yet never descends into cover-your-ass academic frippery. The effect is to provoke deeper contemplation in the mind of the reader; language truly is endlessly complex!
A confession is in order here: I did find the last few score pages rather tedious. Perhaps it was merely the fatigue arising from my breathless rush through the first 400 pages; more likely the subject matter does not suit my tastes. But in a grand parade of ideas of this size, I cannot complain if a few floats or marching bands fail to excite me; there's more than enough here to keep anybody dazzled.
The greatest tribute to this book that I can offer is the revelation that I have been too reluctant to shelve this book in my library; it remains on my desk, bedstand, or next to the computer, ready for a quick re-read of some random topic.
Betcha can't read just one spread!
24 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 One of my favorites! 11 novembre 2002
Par M. Rittman - Publié sur
Crystal's _The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language_ is not really the type of book I would use for reference. There are much more appropriate books when I want to learn about the proper use of a gerund. This is, however, an absolutely fascinating and addictive book! It is the type of book I pick up to read and get so involved I lose track of time. It is also a beautiful book. The color, illustrations, and publishing quality are magnificent!
The focus of this book is not American English. The flavor is cosmopolitan. Questions are answered like how the variations of English in New Zealand and the Caribbean affect road signs. If you ever wanted to know how morphological, lexical, syntactic, and discourse humor compare and contrast, this book is for you. This encyclopedia also features a brilliantly edited collection of poems interspersed in the pages. _The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language_ will remain one of my favorite books.
31 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Anglocentric 13 février 2004
Par Un client - Publié sur
I have truly enjoyed reading this book, and recommend it highly to anyone interested in learning about the English language. It is easy to read, clear, and authoritative. The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is that Mr. Crystal seems to hold the subtly snobbish attitude toward American literature and language still prevalent among the educated class in Britain. He gives due credit to Benjamin Franklin, Noah Webster, Edgar Allen Poe, and H.L. Mencken, but dismisses Mark Twain as being simply a humorist with vaguely racist tendencies, and fails to even mention Hawthorne, Melville, or Longfellow, the leaders of the 19th century American Renaissance, who succeeded in creating a distinctive American literature, separate from the English tradition. He also fails to mention Stephen Crane and Ernest Hemingway, but includes Burton Raffles, Peter Sellers (twice), and John Le Carre.

At the same time, I sometimes have the feeling that we Americans have merely borrowed the English language, and don't understand it, love it, and use it the way the English do. For us, English is handy tool, but if something better came along we would abandon it without a second thought, whereas the English will always speak English. And Hawthorne, Melville, and Longfellow may be more widely read in the UK these days than they are in their own country. Mr. Crystal obviously loves the English language, and writes about it with lucidity and affection. So my complaint is a back-handed compliment, in a way, and I would not discourage anyone from buying and reading this book from cover to cover.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Perfect balance of serious scholarship and accessiblity 25 janvier 2001
Par "kachooney" - Publié sur
I first found this book in my high school library. When I stumbled upon it in my local bookstore, I couldn't resist. Its graphic richness makes it a great coffee table book (and conversation starter--see section on linguistic pet peeves), yet the continuous accompanying text makes for a good (if not exhausting) straight read-through. Well researched, organized, and selected material--there is little in this book that is less than fascinating.
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