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Words Words Words Paperback – 6 Aug 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; New Ed edition (6 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199210772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199210770
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 1.5 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 228,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Witty. (The Independent (Review))

David Crystal gives us an enjoyable account of where words came from and what happens to them. (Writing Magazine)

About the Author

David Crystal is the foremost writer and lecturer on the English language, with a world-wide reputation and over 100 books to his name. He is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor, and has been awarded an OBE for services to the English Language.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
David Crystal never allows his erudition to get in the way of readability. He manages to combine his near-omniscience on the subject of the English Language with a refreshing tolerance (celebration, even) of the way language evolves from generation to generation. There's no rant against "falling standards" or any snobbery about misuse of apostrophes here, but explanations as to why and when change happens. Yes, as one reviewer has said, some of it goes over old ground, but there's joy to be had in looking at things afresh. If you don't like a book to meander and go off on interesting tangents, this might not be for you, as the framework for the book is logical but quite "loose". You come away from reading this with the feeling that you've just enjoyed a wonderfully informative conversation with the author. If you love words and are hungry to find out some more priceless snippets, then this book will reward you and offer a chance to impress a few people by dropping in some obscure facts and derivations at your next dinner party!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book was interesting and I enjoyed it. There weren't many new ideas in the book - I felt that Crystal had just reorganised ideas from his other books. The Kindle edition was very badly formatted, however. There were paragraphs where there were capital Ws everywhere for no reason and very often words that should have been italicised weren't or words that shouldn't have been italicised were. There were also many paragraphing errors. Annoying!
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Format: Paperback
As a primer and brief introduction to the sublime world of words, of lexicographers and word hounds, this is a nice little book that sits well in the hand. Crystal distils his encyclopaedic knowledge of epistemology into 6 fascinating sections

1. the universe of words, their number and how we learn them
2. the origin of words, their beginnings and construction
3. the diversity of words, worldwide diversity, specialist language, group speak
4. the evolution of words, births, deaths, changes and futures
5. the enjoyment of words, wordplay, word sound and games
6. becoming a word detective, how to take your interest further, further reading and how to estimate your personal wordhoard (vocabulary), both what you use everyday and what you understand but don's use regularly.

A good starting point which left me wanting more.
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Format: Paperback
Really interesting with exactly the right amount of detail in all the right places. Words Words Words covers a really broad selection topics within the subject of English Language. It's got loads of interesting, quirky facts and discussion points about English whilst being a good read. David Crystal's passion for the subject shines thorough but it is clearly written, for anyone who speaks English so it's not just for people with a vested interest in this topic. If you speak English, you'll find this really interesting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazing book that I remember from being younger - it's one of the reasons that I went to study English at university and become a writer. The book is so incredibly interesting, and is one that you can not only read all the way through, but also jump into a chapter at a time! I highly recommend it :-)
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Format: Kindle Edition
A nice book that isn't patronizing. I took it out of the library in an attempt to understand the human language more and I was very impressed on how simple, funny and captivating Crystal makes English. A great book to begin with.
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