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Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Avery Pub Group
Publication date October 27, 2009
Pages 256
Binding Paperback
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9781592404940
ISBN-10 1592404944
Dimensions 0.50 by 5 by 7.50 in.
Weight 0.40 lbs.
Original list price $16.00
Summaries and Reviews
Amazon.com description: Product Description: A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar

Why do we say “I am reading a catalog” instead of “I read a catalog”? Why do we say “do” at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

Covering such turning points as the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century ad, John McWhorter narrates this colorful evolution with vigor. Drawing on revolutionary genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of remarkable trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English— and its ironic simplicity due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. This is the book that language aficionados worldwide have been waiting for (and no, it’s not a sin to end a sentence with a preposition).

Editions
Hardcover
Book cover for 9781592403950
 
from Gotham Books (October 30, 2008)
9781592403950 | details & prices | 230 pages | 5.00 × 7.50 × 1.00 in. | 0.76 lbs | List price $22.50
About: A survey of the English language's usage mysteries considers the ways in which English developed and how it may reflect cultural values, in a reference that covers such topics as Celtic and Welsh influences, the origins of specific syntax patterns, and the role of language in forming early Britain.
Paperback
Book cover for 9781592404940
 
The price comparison is for this edition
from Avery Pub Group (October 27, 2009)
9781592404940 | details & prices | 256 pages | 5.00 × 7.50 × 0.50 in. | 0.40 lbs | List price $16.00
About: A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammarWhy do we say “I am reading a catalog” instead of “I read a catalog”?

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