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Read The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson for free with a 30 day free trial. Read unlimited* books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and. PDF | The author of the paper studies issues on personal names discussed in the work of Bill Bryson "Mother Tongue" in order to approve or. Bryson B. The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way. Файл формата pdf; размером 1,62 МБ With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Bryson— the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent—brilliantly explores the remarkable.

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Bill Bryson - The Mother Tongue –. English & How It Got That Way. Excerpts from Chapter 5: Where Words Come From. IF YOU HAVE A MORBID FEAR OF. Title: [DOWNLOAD -PDF-] The Mother Tongue English and How It Got Book Details Author: Bill Bryson Pages: Binding: Paperback. Who would have thought that a book about English would be so entertaining? Certainly not this grammar-allergic reviewer, but The Mother Tongue pulls it off.

References[ edit ] -- None of these assertations are proven I rquest that the entire section be deleted untill someone can back these statements up with some hard facts He's right though, we could still have better references for a couple of things. There's an overwhelming consensus on the Net that Bryson's thing about Finnish swear words is nonsense, but I don't know what to quote for the statement about Frisian. I'll try to go through it in the next few days and cite both the places in the book where he makes the claims, and sources to corroborate the assertions that he's wrong. I just finished the book and as a Canadian, I can firmly state that I have never said "aboot" - "aboat", maybe, but never "aboot".

So in English, the early authorities decided, it should not be possible to split an infinitive either. It is a patent absurdity.

But once this insane notion became established grammarians found themselves having to draw up ever more complicated and circular arguments to accommodate the inconsistencies. That is as crazy as it is amazing.

The Mother Tongue Summary

Thirty-three years later in his Essay Upon Projects, Daniel Defoe was calling for an academy to oversee the language. In , the American Congress considered a bill to institute a national academy and in an American Academy of Language and Belles Lettres, presided over by John Quincy Adams, was formed, though again without any resounding perpetual benefits to users of the language.

And there were many other such proposal and assemblies.

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The model for all these was the Academie Franc;aise, founded by Cardinal Richelieu in Such is the way of the world. Among the changes the teachers wanted and the academicians did not were the removal of the circumflex on etre, fenetre, and other such words, and taking the -x off plurals such as bureaux, chevaux, and chateaux and replacing it with an -s.

Such actions underline the one almost inevitable shortcoming of national academies. However progressive and far-seeing they may be to begin with, they almost always exert over time a depressive effect on change.

Samuel Johnson doubted the prospects of arresting change and Thomas Jefferson thought it in any case undesirable. In declining an offer to be the first honorary president of the Academy of Language and Belles Lettres, he noted that had such a body been formed in the days of the Anglo-Saxons, English would now be unable to describe the modern world.

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Otto Jespersen as long ago as was praising English for its lack of rigidity, its happy air of casualness. These figures write books, give lectures, and otherwise do what they can i. They point out that fulsome, properly used, is a term of abuse, not praise, that peruse actually means to read thoroughly, not glance through, that data and media are plurals.

And from the highest offices in the land they are ignored. Yet such change is both continuous and inevitable.

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Few acts are more salutary than looking at the writings of language authorities from recent decades and seeing the usages that heightened their hackles. In , H. Other authorities have variously — and sometimes hotly — attacked enthuse , commentate, emote, prestigious, contact as a verb, chair as a verb, and scores of others.

Consider the curiously persistent notion that sentences should not end with a preposition. But even he was not didactic about it. He recognized that ending a sentence with a preposition was idiomatic and common in both speech and informal writing. Within a hundred years this had been converted from a piece of questionable advice into an immutable rule.

Thomas de Quincey, in between bouts of opium taking, found time to attack the expression what on earth. Some people wrote mooned for lunatic and foresayer for prophet on the grounds that the new words were Anglo-Saxon and thus somehow more pure.


They even attacked handbook as an ugly Germanic compound when it dared to show its face in the nineteenth century, failing to notice that it was a good Old English word that had simply fallen out of use.

It is one of the felicities of English that we can take pieces of words from all over and fuse them into new constructions — like trusteeship, which consists of a Nordic stem trust , combined with a French affix ee , married to an Old English root ship. Other languages cannot do this. We should be proud of ourselves for our ingenuity, and yet even now authorities commonly attack almost any new construction as ugly or barbaric.

Bryson B. The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way

It sounds odd today, but the logic is impeccable. Was is a singular verb and were a plural one.

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Why should you take a plural verb when the sense is clearly singular? They are not defensible in terms of grammar. In response to demand from readers, a brand new chapter Fifth Edition. Routledge, A History of the English Language is a comprehensive exploration of the linguistic and cultural development of English, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The book provides students Grammar Vocabulary Topic based Country 9.