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Made In America: An Informal History of American English (Anglais) Broché – 1 avril 1998

5.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client

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Broché, 1 avril 1998
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"A tremendously sassy work, full of zip, pizzazz and all those other great American qualities" (Will Self Independent on Sunday)

"Immensely entertaining... a sharp eye for odd facts and amusing anecdotes" (Michael Sheldon Daily Telegraph)

"The book is a triumph. Bryson carries it off by his joie de vivre, his unadorned prose and the sheer width of his snooping beneath the skin of the American dream" (Literary Review)

"Funny, wise, learned and compulsive" (GQ)

Présentation de l'éditeur

Bill Bryson turns away from the highways and byways of middle America, so hilariously depicted in his bestselling The Lost Continent, for a fast, exhilarating ride along the Route 66 of American language and popular culture.

In Made in America, Bryson de-mythologizes his native land - explaining how a dusty desert hamlet with neither woods nor holly became Hollywood, how the Wild West wasn't won, why Americans say 'lootenant' and 'Toosday', how Americans were eating junk food long before the word itself was cooked up - as well as exposing the true origins of the G-string, the original $64,000 question and Dr Kellogg of cornflakes fame.

Buy this book at once and have a nice day!

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Un voyage captivant dans l'histoire des États-Unis et de leur langue. Aussi drôle que riche en anecdotes. A lire absolument!
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a36d1b0) étoiles sur 5 207 commentaires
76 internautes sur 79 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a40adc8) étoiles sur 5 Makes American history & language interesting 18 mars 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Having read Bryson's The Mother Tongue several years ago, I was delighted to find Made in America was going to explore the American variety of English with much the same humor and insight. As a teacher of both British and American literature, I've always tried to include a brief foray into the development of our language on both sides of the Atlantic. I have been able to spice up an otherwise pretty solid lecture presentation with Bryson's witty tidbits and elevate it to the level of the captivating (in my opinion, of course). Next year, I plan on assigning Made in America to my single honors American literature class; I have this suspicion that they will learn more lasting American history from this book than their regular text. When I had read a couple of chapters of the book, I bought an additional copy and sent it to my son, a history major at Notre Dame, who is currently studying in London. He called a few weeks later and was brimming with enthusiasm for the book and told me that he had not only finished it (before I had) but also that he was making all of his friends read it. His roommate read it in two days! I heartily recommend Made in America to anyone who is interested in food, travel, health, movies, history, or just about anything else. If all history and language texts were written with Bryson's flair for the interesting, our task as teachers would be significantly eased.
This last section is added in August 2004: I did, indeed, use the book with my junior class in my last year of teaching in Ohio before "retiring" and moving to Tennessee. It was very well received by the advanced readers and less so by those for whom any book assignment is, well, an assignment. Nonetheless, I'm back teaching in TN and am considering using the book again this second semester. (D.R. Powell at Hendersonville HS-since I didn't intend to make the original review anonymous)
57 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a40d438) étoiles sur 5 Charming, entertaining, and full of errors 1 juillet 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book leaves me a bit puzzled as to how characterize it best. It's full of some of the liveliest and most engaging writing about the development of the American tongue, and at the same time it's just riddled with errors of etymology and history. Bryston relies on some of the classic references - Mencken, Flexner et al- to the extent that he has never checked any of the newer references. Hence he still repeats the etymology of "OK" as the mid-19th century "Oll Korrect", despite the more recent scholarship that points to a great number of cognates in West African languages as the more likely source.

His historical treatments are similarly spotty. He notes at least one Native American document that appears to have influenced the language of the Constitution, but is blissfully unaware of the numerous state constitutions and articles of confederation and other historical documents from which ideas and language were lifted. His reading of the first and second amendments are laughingly ahistorical.

In discussing the songs associated with wars, he remarks that unlike the Civil War and WWI, WWII had no memorable songs! He also states that "bought the farm" is a phrase from the Vietnam War, something that would surprise anyone who's ever seen a film about the RAF in WWII. (I believe the phrase is actually a bit older than that). And he thinks "pilot" came from early aviation, when it's a very old nautical term.

The creative etymology he gives for "hacker" along with his 1975 citation is an amatuerish guess; the actual etymology is very well documented in the popular book "Hackers" by Stephen Levy- it first attained popularity as a reference to a technical accomplishment in the MIT Model Railroad Club long before 1975.

These criticisms just scratch the surface; as I read the book, I filled page after page with similar errors. And yet, for all these errors, it's still an engaging and enjoyable book. Read it and enjoy it- but be extremely cautious about citing it. If you want an interesting and accurate book, read instead "English: Its Life and Times" by Robert Claiborn, a lively and yet scholarly history of the language,, from origins to modern useage.
36 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a40d378) étoiles sur 5 An English Language book for the rest of us! 5 juin 2000
Par J. Liesenfelt - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I'm not a student of the English language, though the history of words does interest me, therefore I've tried to read William Safire's books but with little success. I picked up this book only because of Bill Bryson. The book is not what you think, "An Informal History," describes the book exactly. Bryson fills the book with more historical antidotes than a formal study of the English language in the United States.
Bryson takes you along for a history of the United States and how our language has changed from English into its current form today. The other half of the book contains chapters dealing with specific topics such as names, the movies and cooking. Each of the subjects deals with the words and phases that entered the language at the time or involving the subject.
There are some reviews that question Bryson's accuracy on some of the items, and this book is not filled with Bryson's usual humor, but the writing is enjoyable with just the right amount of wit throughout. Make sure you check out the chapter dealing with Puritan morality!
43 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a9e860c) étoiles sur 5 Fab, Grouse, Awesome! 24 mars 2000
Par saliero - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I love language and all its peculiarities and variations. Scholarly works like David Crystal's Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language are great reference books. So is this, in a very different way. Not only is it a good "people's history" of some aspects of US history, it is one of those books you reach for when your 'favourite' language pedant starts waxing on about how terrible it is that noone speaks's proper any more, or "the kids of today..." As an Australian, and therefore being trilingual (British, American and Australian English) I love to be able to stop some fool in their tracks with the information that some 'vulgar Americanisms' are actually much older forms of English that were transported and survived, at the same time as English mutated in its homeland. The Grammar Pedants won't have it that English is a living language, that usage, spelling and grammar 'rules' change ... this book shows how it does and also demonstrates how some of the most common words we use to deal with life in our age were once US-invented neologisms or even slang. All this (and more) delivered in Bryson's wry and ironic (read witty) tone.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9a9e87bc) étoiles sur 5 Bryson Breaths New life and Wit into American History 22 mars 2001
Par Jim Breitinger - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book is a wonderful and very witty look at the English language and how it has evolved in America. Did you ever have an English teacher that lectured you about the use (or more likely misuse) of a certain word? Forget all of that! (Or at least loosen up about it!) This book is a testament to the fact that language is alive and a reflection of the culture that uses it.
Bryson walks you through American history as he presents story after story usually leaving you laughing and often simply just amazing you with how some word came into common usage. As he tells his story of the English language in America, you will probably learn more about American history than you ever knew before--and all of it is very entertaining.
Don't miss the amazing story of Squanto, the Indian who helped the Pilgrims survive at Plymouth, Massachusetts. There is more to Squanto's story than you think and it is just one of hundreds of gems that Bryson has uncovered.
This is a fast reading, educational, and very fun book.
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