Mother Tongue: The English Language (Popular Penguins)

3.96 avg rating
( 24,936 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780141037462: Mother Tongue: The English Language (Popular Penguins)

Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue is a hymn to the English language. In examining how a second-rate, mongrel tongue came to be the undisputed language of the globe, Bryson explores English from America to Australia and looks at, among other things, swearing, spelling, spoonerisms and Scrabble. No self-respecting English speaker should open his mouth without reading it.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Who would have thought that a book about the English language would be so entertaining? Certainly not this grammar-allergic reviewer, but The Mother Tongue pulls it off admirably. Bill Bryson--a zealot--is the right man for the job. Who else could rhapsodise about "the colourless murmur of the schwa" with a straight face? It is his unflagging enthusiasm, seeping from between every sentence, that carries the book.

Bryson displays an encyclopedic knowledge of his topic, and this inevitably encourages a light tone; the more you know about a subject, the more absurd it becomes. No jokes are necessary, the facts do well enough by themselves, and Bryson supplies tens per page. As well as tossing off gems of fractured English (from a Japanese eraser: "This product will self- destruct in Mother Earth."), Bryson frequently takes time to compare the idiosyncratic tongue with other languages. Not only does this give a laugh (one word: Welsh), and always shed considerable light, it also makes the reader feel fortunate to speak English.

Review:

'Not only fascinating but extremely funny' - Angus Deayton 'The sort of linguistics I like, anecdotal, full of revelations, and with not one dull paragraph' - Ruth Rendell, Sunday Times 'A gold mine of language-anecdote, information, curiosity. A suprise on every page... enthralling' Observer 'Delightful, amusing and provoking... A joyful celebration of our wonderful language, which is packed with curiosities and enlightenment on every page' Sunday Express 'A delightful survey - though with its good humour, wealth of anecdote, and boyish enthusiasm, "romp" would be a better word.' - David Crystal

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Bill Bryson
ISBN 10: 0141037466 ISBN 13: 9780141037462
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Grand Eagle Retail
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 111mm x 181mm x. Paperback. Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue is a hymn to the English language. In examining how a second-rate, mongrel tongue came to be the undisputed language of the globe, Bryson explores English from .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 288 pages. 0.300. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141037462

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.55
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Bill Bryson
Published by Penguin UK (2008)
ISBN 10: 0141037466 ISBN 13: 9780141037462
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Media Mall
(Fyshwick, ACT, Australia)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin UK, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue is a hymn to the English language. In examining how a second-rate, mongrel tongue came to be the undisputed language of the globe. Bryson explores English from America to Australia and looks at, among other things, swearing, spelling, spoonerisms and Scrabble. No self-respecting English speaker should open his mouth without reading it. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # MM-40011396

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.22
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 9.51
From Australia to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Bill Bryson
ISBN 10: 0141037466 ISBN 13: 9780141037462
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
AussieBookSeller
(SILVERWATER, NSW, Australia)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 111mm x 181mm x. Paperback. Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue is a hymn to the English language. In examining how a second-rate, mongrel tongue came to be the undisputed language of the globe, Bryson explores .Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 288 pages. 0.300. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141037462

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.69
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 22.37
From Australia to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds