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The English Language: A Guided Tour of the Language [Paperback]

David Crystal
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 Mar 2002
This is the definitive survey of the English language - in all its forms. Crystal writes accessibly about the structure of the language, the uses of English throughout the world and finally he gives a brief history of English. The book has been fully revised and there is a fascinating new chapter on 'The effect of technology' on the English language. 'Illuminating guided tour of our common treasure by one of its most lucid and sensible professionals' The Times 'A splendid blend of erudition and entertainment' THES

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The English Language: A Guided Tour of the Language + How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die + The Stories of English
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 2Rev Ed edition (28 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141003960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141003962
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,272 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

Review

'A splendid blend of erudition and entertainment' THES

About the Author

David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He is one of the most highly respected commentators on the English Language. He lives in Holyhead. His titles for Penguin include Words on Words, Language Play, Listen to Your Child. He is currently working on The Penguin Shakespeare Glossary for publication 08/02.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In the glorious reign of Queen Elizabeth (the first, that is, from 1558 to 1603), the number of English speakers in the world is thought to have been between five and seven million. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Professor Crystal's "The English Language" is a must-read for all language students and in general everyone interested in language. Professor is famous for his reader-friendly style. A quality which is especially beneficial to the historical section of the present book.

The discussion in the book starts with the major aspects of language - vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. And if language students should think they are familiar enough with these topics - they will, however, find many fascinating nuances and perspectives not encountered or thought about before.

The second part of the book discusses the uses of language such as its proneness to ludicity, idiolect, its different manifestations in different occupational groups, and the ripe effects of technology in the productive evolution of the English language. Professor is quite infecting in his fascination with the unlimited potential of the language.

The third section discusses the historical growth of English - in such an accurate, comprehensible and flexible manner that you are rather quick to grasp the historical situation, get a feel of the language at different periods in history and remember all the important dates through easily associated events.

This section includes a neat demonstration of the relation and differences between British English and American English.

The great merit of this part is also the discussion of Scots and Irish English alongside Australian, New Zealand, South African, Canadian Englishes.

And the introduction to the Plain English campaigns is another fresh topic which has found space in this remarkable book.

I strongly recommend it!
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introductory 20 Feb 2006
By Debbie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For so long during my English Language A Level i put off reading this book. Yet now i have finished and i am starting my English degree next year, i am reading it. I have to say that this is a great introduction to an A Level course in English, and for those who just want to know more about the language we speak.
It includes information on grammar, vocabulary, RP, spelling, the uses of English now and the history of English. It is a fascinating read.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Language made Crystal clear 17 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A non-fiction book I couldn't put down! David Crystal, with his reputation as a linguistics guru, presents a remarkably accessible and entertaining jolly into the background of the english language. It would have been so easy to blind us with science and technical terms but this book engages you throughout. The English language belongs to us all and the book certainly made me both feel that and make me want to delve a bit deeper ... in fact: I've just placed an order for another of his books!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the English language for whatever reason. I am currently studying English with The Open University and find books by David Crystal very useful additions to my other study materials.

Charles R McMorrow.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 11 Oct 2009
By LeMiffe
Format:Paperback
Thoughtful, creative, and honest. Provides a great read if you are interested in understanding how the English language works.
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