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The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Paw Prints
Publication date June 26, 2008
Pages 270
Binding Prebinding
Edition Reprint
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9781439505854
ISBN-10 1439505853
Dimensions 0.75 by 5.25 by 8 in.
Weight 0.65 lbs.
Availability§ Apply Direct
Original list price $23.95
§As reported by publisher
Summaries and Reviews
Amazon.com description: Product Description: How did English, 'treated for centuries as the inadequate and second-rate tongue of peasants' become the undisputed global language? How did words like shampoo, sofa and rowdy (and others drawn from over fifty languages) find their way into our dictionary? In this revealing and often hilarious book, Bill Bryson examines the mother tongue and explores the countless varieties of English and the perils of marketing brands with names like Pschitt and Super Piss. With entertaining sections on the oddities of swearing and spelling, spoonerisms and Scrabble, and a consideration of what we mean by 'good English', "Mother Tongue" is one of the most stimulating books yet written on this endlessly engrossing subject.

Editions
Hardcover
Book cover for 9780688078959
 
from William Morrow & Co (June 1, 1990); titled "The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way"
9780688078959 | details & prices | List price $18.95
About: Offers a journey through the intricacies, puzzles, and quirks of the English language, tracing the history of English from its earliest origins to the present day
Paperback
Book cover for 9780140143058 Book cover for 9780380715435
 
Reissue edition from Harpercollins (March 1, 1996); titled "The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way"
9780380715435 | details & prices | 270 pages | 5.50 × 8.00 × 0.75 in. | 0.45 lbs | List price $14.99
About: Provides a humorous history of the English language covering such topics as spelling, pronunciation, swearing, and wordplay.
New edition from Gardners Books (September 26, 1991); titled "The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way"
9780140143058 | details & prices | 288 pages | 5.50 × 7.75 × 0.75 in. | 0.45 lbs | List price $15.90
About: A witty, irreverent but very useful account of the peculiarities of the English language.
Prebinding
Book cover for 9781417671489 Book cover for 9781439505854
 
The price comparison is for this edition
Reprint edition from Paw Prints (June 26, 2008)
9781439505854 | details & prices | 270 pages | 5.25 × 8.00 × 0.75 in. | 0.65 lbs | List price $23.95
About: How did English, 'treated for centuries as the inadequate and second-rate tongue of peasants' become the undisputed global language?
from Turtleback Books (November 1, 2001); titled "The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way"
9781417671489 | details & prices | 5.25 × 8.00 × 1.00 in. | 0.65 lbs | List price $25.80
About: Provides a humorous history of the English language covering such topics as spelling, pronunciation, swearing, and wordplay.

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