Stories of English

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9780141015934: Stories of English

When and why did 'thou' disappear from Standard English? Would a Victorian Cockney have said 'observation' or 'hobservation'? Was Jane Austen making a mistake when she wrote 'Jenny and James are walked to Charmonth this afternoon'? This superbly well-informed - and also wonderfully entertaining - history of the English language answers all these questions, showing how the many strands of English (Standard English, dialect and slang among them) developed to create the richly-varied language of today.

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About the Author:

David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has published over 90 books and was awarded the OBE for services to the English language in 1995. He is the editor of the Penguin Encyclopedia and the New Penguin Factfinder.

From Publishers Weekly:

Leading British linguist Crystal ( Shakespeare's Words) immediately distinguishes his pluralistic study of English's evolution from the standard, narrowly focused histories by describing not only how it evolved on an isolated island example from a Germanic language to the standard English we know today., but also on marginalized regional dialects, vernaculars and other "nonstandard" examples, beginning with the origins of Old English. He shows, for example, how even Chaucer and Shakespeare embraced dialects in The Canterbury Tales and Henry V. There are also lighter moments, such as Crystal's examination of the Anglo-Saxon intonations of Yoda in Star Wars and of Tolkein's Middle Earth idioms. Writing of the 18th century, the author contrasts the proscriptions of Dr. Johnson and others regarding spelling, grammar and pronunciation with the efforts of Americans such as Noah Webster to differentiate American from British English. (Regional and ethnic variations elsewhere in the British Empire receive more cursory treatment.) However, Crystal glosses over the current status struggle in the U.K. between more "authentic" dialects, such as the northern Liverpudlian, and newer ones, such as the suburban Estuary English. As for the language's future, Crystal wishes to see Standard English taught alongside familiarization with the varieties of dialects. Although he doesn't spell out how to accomplish this, his well-informed and appealing book makes a good case for the importance of dialects. 9 b&w illus., 12 maps.
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. When and why did thou disappear from Standard English? Would a Victorian Cockney have said observation or hobservation ? Was Jane Austen making a mistake when she wrote Jenny and James are walked to Charmonth this afternoon ? This superbly well-informed - and also wonderfully entertaining - history of the English language answers all these questions, showing how the many strands of English (Standard English, dialect and slang among them) developed to create the richly-varied language of today. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141015934

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. When and why did thou disappear from Standard English? Would a Victorian Cockney have said observation or hobservation ? Was Jane Austen making a mistake when she wrote Jenny and James are walked to Charmonth this afternoon ? This superbly well-informed - and also wonderfully entertaining - history of the English language answers all these questions, showing how the many strands of English (Standard English, dialect and slang among them) developed to create the richly-varied language of today. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141015934

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Book Condition: New. 2005. Paperback. This superbly well-informed - and also wonderfully entertaining - history of the English language answers all these questions, showing how the many strands of English (Standard English, dialect and slang among them) developed to create the richly-varied language of today. Num Pages: 592 pages, Illustrations, maps. BIC Classification: 2AB; CFF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 27. Weight in Grams: 408. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141015934

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Stories of English, David Crystal, When and why did 'thou' disappear from Standard English? Would a Victorian Cockney have said 'observation' or 'hobservation'? Was Jane Austen making a mistake when she wrote 'Jenny and James are walked to Charmonth this afternoon'? This superbly well-informed - and also wonderfully entertaining - history of the English language answers all these questions, showing how the many strands of English (Standard English, dialect and slang among them) developed to create the richly-varied language of today. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141015934

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2005. Book Condition: New. 2005. Paperback. This superbly well-informed - and also wonderfully entertaining - history of the English language answers all these questions, showing how the many strands of English (Standard English, dialect and slang among them) developed to create the richly-varied language of today. Num Pages: 592 pages, Illustrations, maps. BIC Classification: 2AB; CFF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 27. Weight in Grams: 408. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141015934

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