Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare Paperback – 18 Jan 2010
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'This book will be fascinating to those who would really like to find out how the English language is behaving. Clearly written and informative, it is a lively guide to that most creative and challenging language, English' (Alexander McCall Smith)
Nice choice of words (Newsweek, 13 December 2008)
definitive guide to the evolution of English (Scottish Daily Mail, 3 November 2008)
absorbing... lively...you will find something of interest on every page (English Teaching Professional, 1 January 2009)
About the Author
Jeremy Butterfield has commissioned, compiled, and edited many major English and foreign-language dictionaries, and is a regular contributor to radio and TV discussions about questions of language use. He edited the Oxford A-Z of English Usage (2007).
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
annoying to read.
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...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Linguistics professionals don't get it, do they?
Something tiny is now more often described as miniscule than minuscule, we're told (p7): what the bean-counters signally fail... Read more
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.Published on 11 Jan. 2014 by Eileen Helen
I bought this as a Christmas present for my son from his Christmas Wish List. He was very happy with it.Published on 27 Jan. 2013 by Professor Yaffle
got a thank you from my nephew for this book, so it must be good, maybe get a chance to read it myself some time!Published on 21 April 2012 by N. J. Powell
I bought this book as a Christmas present for my Dad, and he loves it. I would recommend it to others.Published on 9 Jan. 2012 by can55