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4.5 out of 5 stars
Spell It Out: The singular story of English spelling
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2014
David Crystal on language is always worth reading, and this book is no exception. His writing is clear, entertaining and articulate, and goes very thoroughly into the history of written English. His arguments are most convincing, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2014
The answers are all in the fascinating little book. I found it very absorbing and I can see that I shall use this book time and again to explain why certain words are given different spellings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2013
Wonderful! Fascinating, absorbing. Full of interesting information. Don't read it all at once - it's good for dipping - a new bit of insight into our language every day.
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on 7 December 2012
As with the same author's "English in 100 words", which I also glowingly reviewed, we have a phoneticist / linguist / lexicographer who knows his subject & plainly enjoys telling others about it. It differs from the other work in being more academic: this isn't a criticism, but one does need to concentrate & be prepared to make cross-reference back to phonetic matrices at the front of the book. There is a lot to get out of this book; I'm still reading it & look forward to what else the author will reveal.
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on 18 September 2014
You can't go wrong with David Crystal. His books were recommended by my university lecturers. Though academically sound, his books can be easily read by anyone with an interest in language. I bought this book as a gift for someone who loved to hear what I was learning about the history of English during my degree. She has her own resource to dip into any time she likes!
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on 10 November 2012
Being a fan of David Crytal's I always find his books even on difficult areas of English language easy to access and this is no exception. He once again explains clearly (I so want to say crystal clear) about English Spelling. If you are interested in how and why of the English language this book will help further your knowledge.
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on 27 September 2014
I have never read such a witty, well-informed and wise explanation of the spelling systems of English - and without boasting, but hopefully to increase my credibility so that you believe what I'm saying, I've written, edited and published enough dictionaries to know what I'm talking about!
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on 16 January 2013
David Crystal explains the evolution of English spelling in a very clear manner and gives an interesting account of why there are so many discrepancies in the English language. This is a particularly good for non-academic or linguistics specialists. Highly recommended.
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on 24 December 2012
Bought this as a Christmas present for a friend who is as pedantic about English as I am. It nearly ruined our evening as he just wanted to read it and not socialise. In fact, he nearly missed dinner. I'm looking forward to borrowing it when he's done the first pass.
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on 27 December 2012
This is an excellent book for anyone with an interest in linguistics,history or just English. However, whilst not a criticism, you do have to concentrate on the matter in hand when reading. I don't think it is a pick up put down read. But it is a fascinating read.
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