Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bryson's individual story on English, 16 Dec 2011
This review is from: Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language (Paperback)
Bill Bryson is a journalist by profession and a writer of very humorous travel books in a style which is all his own. From my knowledge of his many books, he is highly-intelligent, erudite and, coupled with his journalist's training, he is able to turn his mind to many subjects, e.g. his book "The Short History of Nearly Everything" is excellent, full of detailed information about a wide range of differing disciplines.

I am sure he would not claim to be an expert on the English language in the David Crystal league and he would probably be the first to admit the errors in the book but, what it does reveal is divergent roots of our language and the ways in which it has developed; obviously researched well and skilfully crafted, Bryson obviously enjoyed writing it and his interest and pleasure in using language comes trough the words. For serious linguistic students looking for a reference text, this is probably not it but for anyone with a passing interest in and enjoyment of language, it will be fascinating - despite the inaccuracies picked out by various reviewers.

I may be wrong, but I think this book was a companion to the radio series of the same or a similar name. I have the cds and the programmes are very enjoyable with interviews with a wide and knowledgeable group of experts. Unfortunately, I have looked for the cds on Amazon without success.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Jan 2012 05:28:35 GMT
Thanks for the review.

It would be very helpful to have more information about the radio program you reference. Would Amazon allow you to list an ISBN or other, similar code?

Even if Amazon is not a source, having more detail such as a code, an exact title and the publisher might make the all the difference for those who want to follow up on your very helpful reference to a radio programme.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2012 09:51:02 GMT
RR Waller says:
Thanks for this. At the time, I did not have the CD but have since found it - ISBN 0-563-49626-6 - Bill Bryson, "Journeys in English". I hope this is helpful.
Ron Waller

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2012 14:22:28 GMT
Thank you very much! This is quite helpful. I'll look.
Best Wishes,
Jon Stubbs

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2012 14:28:05 GMT
After that note I went and checked Amazon. There was a used copy. It's now on order!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2012 13:26:08 GMT
RR Waller says:
If you have an interest in language, Melvyn Bragg's "The Adventure of English" is excellent and there is a CD and his recent book on the King James' bible shows the influence of that book in English; David Crystal is also excellent but, contingent on your interest, choose carefully as his books can be very academic. Frank Kermode is also a good read on Shakespeare's English.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2012 15:45:36 GMT
The Bryson CD arrived - and in fine condition. I will get "The Adventure of English". Living in Sweden, I am on occasion asked to go over material written by someone who is using English as a second language. While I claim no special certification, most are satisfied with my work. Knowing more about the language helps me enjoy what I do more. Crystal and Kermode will be added later. Thanks for your thoughts, I will always be wanting to listen to your thoughts!
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