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The Story of English: How the English Language Conquered the World [Format Kindle]

Philip Gooden
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Born as a Germanic tongue with the arrival in Britain of the Anglo-Saxons in the early medieval period, heavily influenced by Norman French from the 11th century, and finally emerging as modern English from the late Middle Ages, the English language has grown to become the linguistic equivalent of a superpower.

Worldwide some 380 million people speak English as a first language and some 600 million as a second language. A staggering one billion people are believed to be learning it. English is the premier international language in communications, science, business, aviation, entertainment, and diplomacy, and also on the Internet and is thought by many to be well on the way to becoming the world's first universal language.

Philip Gooden tells the story of the English language in all its richness and variety. From the intriguing origins and changing definitions of common words such as 'OK', 'beserk', 'curfew', 'cabal' and 'pow-wow', to the massive transformations wrought in the vocabulary and structure of the language by Anglo-Saxon and Norman conquest, through to the literary triumphs of Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales and the works of Shakespeare, right up to the profound and surprising effect electronic media, and in particular the Internet, has had on its development.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Story of English 9 août 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I love languages and understanding how they work and the rich and varied origins of English are particularly fascinating. This book gives a fine introduction to the reasons our language is so rich and varied in a style that is appropriate for all.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5  7 commentaires
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Stories within a story 31 mars 2011
Par Hande Z - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This should not be confused with the 2002 MacNeil & Cran book by the same title or the 2005 David Crystal "Stories of English". This book is not very thick (216 pages) but is a hardcover and a little more like a coffee table book in height and width. It tells the history of the development of the English language in several parts from "Early English" to Middle English" to "Modern English" to Global English" and "English in Today's World", ending with a discussion on "English Matters", the debates over the right way of using English - the views of prescriptivists versus descriptivists.

Each part contains several short chapters which are all very informative and has various interesting side stories and wonderful illustrations and photographs in colour. There is a chapter on English in the time of Samuel Johnson and his contribution to the language. In this chapter there is a story about Jonathan Swift's letter to Robert Harley, an important minister in the government, decrying all that he thought wrong with the language.

The Future of English is a fascinating account of the development of English today; the rise of chinglish, singlish, and panglish - for example, the Chinese have written "moving forward" when they meant "this way". Ultimately we find ourselves in the middle of the prescriptivists demand for strict rules and the descriptivists belief that language must have freedom to find its own way. Hence, the short account of George Bernard Shaw and why we can spell "fish" as "ghoti" and say "I thinked" instead of "I thought". Nice thoughts.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Colourful History 15 février 2013
Par JC Davenport - Publié sur
Or from my perspective, colorful. Either way, this is a really fun book to read. It looks great like a coffee table book, which implies "pop" history. But it's so packed full of history, stories, antidotes and explanations that I feel like I learned a ton of history and language at the same time. Seemed very thorough and up-to-date beginning with Mesopotamia, covering British/American/World history and finally ending with texting, Obama's speeches and China's English speakers (350 million!).

I enjoyed the authors British perspective, light hearted approach and overall fair mindedness in giving no one group or persons too much credit for a language that is truly a rich, adaptive and wonderful accident. Now I know the difference between cow and beef!

I also started wondering why the "coffee table" books get all the good pictures and graphics and even, humor. I also wonder if the big picture books days are numbered due to the decline of bookstores. I got this book on sale while browsing a while back (at the Borders going out of business sale) and doubt I would have found it otherwise.

This is an awesome book for learning about English though stories and history. I would recommend it to adults and my teenage children. I might even try to brag about reading it. But then someone will ask . . . "Is that a coffee table book?"
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Educational and well written 9 octobre 2013
Par Sirius - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
As somebody for whom English is a second language, I love learning more about it. I certainly learned a lot from this book - some facts, some history, people I never knew who played an important part in linguistic development. And I loved that the book was such an easy read.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Most educational 19 novembre 2013
Par LN Mandeljl oj. - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Was very educational for me. I learned so much and fortified what I already knew. Highly recommended this book to my friends and family on Facebook.
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Odd factual errors. 29 octobre 2014
Par Happy Hill - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This is an interesting book, for all the wrong reasons; nothing new or exciting especially but has several odd factual errors in it. For instance, the notion that Lincoln was born in Illinois. No, sorry, Kentucky. I skimmed over others but that one stopped me. There are better scholars of the language out there. Good for bedtime reading, but don't rely on it for the facts. How much more erroneous "information" does this book contain? Did the author really go to Oxford? Or was it Oxford, Mississippi?

Some of the errors really are hilarious: the Mississippi River runs through Missouri? Well, that would be the Missouri. The Mississippi borders Missouri on the east. And then, Mark Twain was born in Florida? Yes, the town of Florida, Missouri. This poor fellow relied on his faulty memory I suppose.

Because of all the errors and sloppy, sloppy editing, I recommend NOT reading this book except as a curiosity. Too much misinformation makes me wonder how many errors I missed because of lack of familiarity with the field of linquistics.
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