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4.7 out of 5 stars37
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 18 January 2010
This encyclopaedia is simply brilliant for language lovers. It is clear and concise, brilliantly illustrated and laid out, and it makes the subject matter interesting. Once again David Crystal has managed to convey his love of language.

This encyclopaedia covers a wealth of information:

Part I. The History of English: The origins of English; Old English; Middle English; Early Modern English; Modern English; and World English.

Part II. English Vocabulary: The nature of the lexicon; The sources of the lexicon; Etymology; The structure of the lexicon; and Lexical dimensions.

Part III. English Grammar: Grammatical mythology; The structure of words; Word classes; and The structure of sentences.

Part IV. Spoken and Written English: The sound system; and The writing system.

Part V. Using English: Varieties of discourse; Regional variation; Social variation; Personal variation; and Electronic variation.

Part VI. Learning about English: Learning English as a mother tongue; and New ways of studying English.

As you can see, it's wide in scope so each section is concise and to the point, brilliant for referencing or just dipping in and out of for something interesting.

I would definitely recommend this to English language students and anyone with an interest in the subject.
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on 24 November 1999
This book is excellent for looking at linguistics surrounding the English language. It gives good summaries of topics including most of the relevant details, without overloading you with unnecessary information. The book is as its title says 'an encyclopaedia'. It's meant for quick reference. There are a range of tables, graphs and maps, which makes interpreting data quick and simple. This book is good for all those studying linguistics and those who have just a remote interest in the subject. I would highly recommend this book.
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on 17 January 2006
This book is essential for anyone studying language or linguistics at degree level. Crystal is the man when it comes to this subject and I'm sure this book and many more of his will be assisting me with the MA in Linguistics that I plan to pursue. It is books like this that have fed my enthusiasm for the English language and encouraged further study!
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on 6 January 2006
Superb! Must have for anybody interested in or studying English language, it is fascinating and has been my bible throughout my Alevel and now in to my degree. Really worth the money. David Crystal is an inspiration to Language users and students.
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on 1 January 2010
I've long since lost count of the number of copies of Crystal's outstanding book that I've purchased as gifts. All my teenage grandchildren have been given copies. And now one ten-year-old has explained that she "needs her copy" for her next birthday.

I never fail to find linguistic riches whatever page I turn to.
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on 14 March 2010
If you are studying English language, you will find this book invaluable. It has so much information, backed up by brilliant pictures and examples of language. I recently did a presenation on the History of English and used the enyclopedia for my research. The presentation was brilliant - thank you David Crystal!
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on 17 January 2000
A: At anypoint of interest .As a student of Linguistics and the English language at the University of Wales, Bangor, this is an invaluble book. As an introduction to the English language you'll find you can't put it down. Facts you never knew before from the history of the English language to English as a global language. For general reading, you'll discover a facinating insight to the language that we use every day without much consideration. Easy to pick up, impossible to put down.
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on 17 April 2012
Bought for my next Open Uni course and, it would seem, for the one after that...Bargain.
Suitable and fun reading for all those interested in all aspects of the English language from dialects to countries who speak it as a first language...You will be surprised and amused.
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This book was essential reading for me during my literacy specialist tutor training, and two years later it is still in regular use. If you want to check your use of grammar, wonder what word is used for truanting in South Wales, or are puzzled as to what a morpheme is, the answers are here. It never let me down when I wanted to check something. Not the cheapest or most portable book there is, but definitely the best.
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on 5 January 2000
Crystal's encyclopedia is well referenced and gives a good introduction - often more - into a wide range of issues relating to the development and use of language. An easily accessible and fascinating reference work.
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