Words on Words: Quotations About Language and Languages (Penguin Reference Books)

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9780140514186: Words on Words: Quotations About Language and Languages (Penguin Reference Books)

Words are the currency of human communication. Intrinsic to every aspect of our lives, they inform all that we do and colour our perception of the world. In fact, to quote Kipling, words are "the most powerful drug used by mankind". This original anthology brings together over 5000 wise, witty and diverting quotations from wordsmiths across the centuries, ranging from Plato, Voltaire, Shakespeare and Dickens to Margaret Thatcher, Alan Bennett and Bill Gates. Arranged in 65 thematic sections, it covers all aspects of language from flattery and deceit to conversation and argument, and from friendly language to words as weapons. With three indexes by author, keyword and source, "Words on Words" is invaluable for reference as well as great fun to dip into. As Lady Mary Wortley Montagu tells us: "No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting".

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About the Author:

David Crystal is a leading authority on the English Language. He is honorary Professor of Linguistics at University of Wales and the author of many books both for Penguin and CUP. Most recently for Penguin 'Language Play'. Hilary Crystal is a linguist and speech therapist. Jointly they edit the Cambridge Encyclopedia and Factfinder. They live in Holyhead, Anglesey.

From the Inside Flap:

From Homer (-winged words-) to Robert Burns (-Beware a tongue that's smoothly hung-) to Rudyard Kipling (-Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind-), writers from all over the world have put pen to paper on the inexhaustible topic of language. Yet surprisingly, their writings on the subject have never been gathered in a single volume. In Words on Words, David and Hilary Crystal have collected nearly 5,000 quotations about language and all its intriguing aspects: speaking, reading, writing, translation, verbosity, usage, slang, and more. As the stock-in-trade of so many professions--orators, media personalities, writers, and countless others--language's appeal as a subject is extraordinarily relevant and wide-ranging.
The quotations are grouped thematically under 65 different headings, from -The Nature of Language- through the -Language of Politics- to -Quoting and Misquoting.- This arrangement enables the reader to explore a topic through a variety of lenses, ancient and modern, domestic and foreign, scientific and casual, ironic and playful. Three thorough indexes--to authors, sources, and key words--provide different entry points into the collection. A valuable resource for professional writers and scholars, Words on Words is for anyone who loves language and all things linguistic.

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