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Language Play [Paperback]

David Crystal , Edward McLachlan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Aug 1998
This text approaches the subject of how everyone plays with language in an informed but light-hearted way. Beginning by showing how we all use the "hidic" (playful) function of language, the author then investigates why we do and where the impulse to break the rules of language comes from.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (27 Aug 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140273859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140273854
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 601,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

David Crystal works from his home in Holyhead, North Wales, as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster. He published the first of his 100 or so books in 1964, and became known chiefly for his research work in English language studies. He held a chair at the University of Reading for 10 years, and is now Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor.

Product Description

About the Author

David Crystal is the Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. His previous books include "The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language," "English as a Global Language," "A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics," "Language Death," and "Words on Words," the last published by the University of Chicago Press. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Everyone plays with language or responds to language play. Read the first page
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously amusing... 21 Dec 2002
By A Customer
Crystal's work on language is always good to read - accessible, erudite and usually entertaining. 'Language Play' is no exception. A fascinating study of many aspects of the playful use of language, it is ideal for anyone studying children's language, humour, or language in general, but it's also a good read in its own right. It's well set out and very, very readable, and anyone who's ever told a joke or made a pun will recognise their own language use somewhere in the study.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light-hearted but well thought out. 5 Sep 2004
Language Play is quite simply an immensely readable exploration of how English-speakers use language for humour, ambiguity, &c. by perhaps the best writer on the English language today. It looks at serious topics on how we view and use language, while giving, every so often, a language game as an example of the point he is making. It is a book every teacher and parent should read (the section which asks why so little language play is evident in the dreary Readers children plough through when so much of their own humour is based on pun and nonsense makes for interesting debate); it is book for everyone who has an interest in how English works.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Odd how the British love this book on language 31 Aug 2007
By C. Kunzler - Published on
The only review for this book on the american amazon. com was by an disgruntled reader who bought the book thinking it was supposed to be a history. If you want better reviews check go to the amazon uk page.
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing 7 April 2013
By Harriet Hasenclever - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had already read other books by David Crystal and enjoy his explorations. This I in fact bought to give as a present.
It is playful.
6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough meat! 3 Jan 2003
By Benjamin Turner - Published on
I thought that this book was going to be about importance of language play to human life, but once I dug into the book, I found that it consists almost entirely of examples of different language games, without much evidence or analysis regarding how or why these games are actually important.
The first 2/3 of the book reads more like a catalog of word games than a discussion about the importance of language play. The background information provided about the games also feels rather thin -- the author tells you only a little bit about the history of some games without much development. Furthermore, readers will already be familiar with most of the games presented, so there's little new to learn.
Thankfully, the chapters on childhood language learning finally provided some actual research information on the topic, and finally built up an argument about how language play is critical to a person's development. In my opinion, the interesting stuff in the last 1/3 of the book is probably not worth the price.
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