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4.2 out of 5 stars17
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 14 August 2010
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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on 20 February 2006
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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on 17 April 2003
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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on 27 July 2009
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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on 11 October 2009
Thoughtful, creative, and honest. Provides a great read if you are interested in understanding how the English language works.
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on 29 March 2012
4 stars due to the terrible Kindle formatting. Pictures appear half way through paragraphs, sometimes digressions - which I assume are side-boxes in the print version - also split a paragraph in two. This can really ruin the reading experience.

Otherwise this is a well thought out and thorough explanation of the history of English. However it is likely to be outdated already, particularly on the subject of English usage on the internet. A subject which the author has covered in a separate book, presumably in more detail and more recently.
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on 8 May 2014
This one for my grandson filled the bill admirably. David Crystal is one of the great authorities and the book is very sensitively written
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on 10 May 2012
Since I bought this book for myself after viewing it on Amazon UK, I am delighted to say that this is a brilliant read because it is very informative. If you enjoy learning about the English Language, I would strongly recommend that you purchase this book.
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on 15 October 2013
I bought this for my English Language OU course, but it is a fascinating book anyway whether you are studying or not. David Crystal writes in a most accessible way about language. Highly recommended.
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on 14 February 2013
It's full of interesting info on the language - you'll read it quickly and fall in love with David Crystal - like many others before you....
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