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11 Reviews
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damp Squid
I'll admit it - one of the main factors in my purchase of this book was the amusing title and cover art, followed by the praise one of my favourite authors on the top. But despite my hasty purchase I was far from disappointed! I'm just about to start my A levels and am interested in doing linguistics at university and I found this a great introduction to that most...
Published on 21 Aug 2011 by J. Mason

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book on lousy paper
The paperback edition which I received is printed on such poor quality paper that all the text has bled quite badly, making it quite
annoying to read.
Published 6 months ago by xristo


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damp Squid, 21 Aug 2011
By 
J. Mason "Wit and Wisdom" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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I'll admit it - one of the main factors in my purchase of this book was the amusing title and cover art, followed by the praise one of my favourite authors on the top. But despite my hasty purchase I was far from disappointed! I'm just about to start my A levels and am interested in doing linguistics at university and I found this a great introduction to that most beautiful science. The book is written in a way that is easy to understand yet not patronising and covers all the basics such as what a corpus is and why it is so important, why spelling and meaning change and why prescriptivism is doomed to failure. Thoroughly recommended to anyone interested in English/language!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Based on the Oxford Corpus, 12 Jun 2012
By 
Born Again Cruciverbalist "Geoff" (Stockport, Cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I have read more than a dozen books about the English language by authors such a David Crystal and Henry Hitchings but this book adds even more information.

It's based on the Oxford Corpus, a database of over two billion words. It shows the most commonly used words. It outlines the origins of words and discusses changes in the spelling and meaning of words. It comments on patterns of words such as 'a sea change' and words that are commonly linked together (the word 'naked' is more often linked with 'eye', than with 'body'). There's a chapter on idiomatic phrases and others on grammar and style.

Well worth buying whether you are a novice or well versed.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read, 17 Dec 2008
By 
M. J. C. Griffin (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare (Hardcover)
What have "women and sticks" to do with "cats and dogs" ? What do "which" and "want" have in common? What is a corpus, and why does it matter ? The answers to these - and many more - questions are all to be found in this gem of a book.

Jeremy Butterfield writes with wit, style and authority on the elusive mysteries of the English language - a subject to which he has dedicated the bulk of his working life. The book is a fascinating and highly informative analysis of how our language is used and how it is evolving.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book on lousy paper, 2 Jun 2014
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The paperback edition which I received is printed on such poor quality paper that all the text has bled quite badly, making it quite
annoying to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and fun!, 11 Jan 2014
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An easy to read and most informative book that will appeal to lovers of the English language. It's a useful accompaniment to dictionaries and thesaurus.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Xmas entertainment, 1 Feb 2009
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This review is from: Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare (Hardcover)
I gave this book to my husband, who is a scientist, as a Christmas present. I was a bit doubtful whether he would enjoy it, as it is not the sort of book he would choose to read. However, it was a great success! He didn't put it down and read it all in one sitting, and often treated the rest of the family to entertaining quotes from it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read, 18 Jan 2013
By 
R. Swift (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
A well structured and written book, informative with great examples.

Just one thing that knocks a star off, why the z's? I found it quite ironic that a book about English written [apparently] by an Englishman could use the American spelling of words such as organisation, yet words like colour were spelt 'correctly'... I was expecting to come across a paragraph justifying the decision but it never materialiZed...
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great browsing, 22 Mar 2010
By 
Nigel Sweet (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare (Hardcover)
if you are interested in language, this book is for you - or, in fact, anyone who can speak English!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 9 Jan 2012
I bought this book as a Christmas present for my Dad, and he loves it. I would recommend it to others.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damp Squid, 27 Jan 2013
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I bought this as a Christmas present for my son from his Christmas Wish List. He was very happy with it.
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Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare
Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare by Jeremy Butterfield (Hardcover - 30 Oct 2008)
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