Customer Review

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breakthroughingly brilliant, 13 Nov 2013
This review is from: English for the Natives: Discover the Grammar You Don't Know You Know (Hardcover)
What a splendid book this is. Intellectually rigorous without being intimidatingly highbrow, genuinely amusing without being trite or trivial, it successfully treads a line between 'original academic thought' on one hand and 'ideal stocking filler' on the other. To the very best of my knowledge, there is no other book in this or indeed any area that is equally fascinating whether discussing Ferdinand de Saussure's relativist theory of linguistics or a local newspaper's report on floodlight failure at Raith Rovers.
The thing I like best about this book is its basic premise - the very liberal (and liberating) idea that, whatever anyone may have told you, there is no such thing as grammar which is 'right' or 'wrong'. As if to exemplify the author's laissez faire attitude to all things linguistic, perhaps my favourite moment of all comes on page 111: the use - in the middle of a complex but fascinating passage on the semiotics of language - of the entirely made up word 'breakthroughingly'.
'Right' and 'wrong' grammar may not exist, but 'good' and 'bad' writing do, and English For The Natives is a very, very well written book indeed.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Nov 2013 17:10:07 GMT
Douglas Wood says:
"there is no other book that is equally fascinating...". Actually, there almost certainly is: somewhere in David Crystal's oeuvre.

Douglas
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