- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; ISBN 0-140-14305-X edition (1 Oct. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141040084
- ISBN-13: 978-0141040080
- Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (450 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language Paperback – 1 Oct 2009
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Who would have thought that a book about the English language would be so entertaining? Certainly not this grammar-allergic reviewer, but The Mother Tongue pulls it off admirably. Bill Bryson--a zealot--is the right man for the job. Who else could rhapsodise about "the colourless murmur of the schwa" with a straight face? It is his unflagging enthusiasm, seeping from between every sentence, that carries the book.
Bryson displays an encyclopedic knowledge of his topic, and this inevitably encourages a light tone; the more you know about a subject, the more absurd it becomes. No jokes are necessary, the facts do well enough by themselves, and Bryson supplies tens per page. As well as tossing off gems of fractured English (from a Japanese eraser: "This product will self- destruct in Mother Earth."), Bryson frequently takes time to compare the idiosyncratic tongue with other languages. Not only does this give a laugh (one word: Welsh), and always shed considerable light, it also makes the reader feel fortunate to speak English. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Not only fascinating but extremely funny (Angus Deayton)
The sort of linguistics I like, anecdotal, full of revelations, and with not one dull paragraph (Ruth Rendell Sunday Times)
A gold mine of language-anecdote, information, curiosity. A suprise on every page... enthralling (Observer)
Delightful, amusing and provoking... A joyful celebration of our wonderful language, which is packed with curiosities and enlightenment on every page (Sunday Express)
A delightful survey - though with its good humour, wealth of anecdote, and boyish enthusiasm, "romp" would be a better word. (David Crystal)
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Bryson's pontifications on some issues bordered on arrogance and his level of language was arcane to the point of jargon in several instances.
This book fell short of light entertainment and was woefully inadequate as an academic tool. I could not recommend it.
The first Bill Bryson book I gave up on.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informative overview of the structure and development of the English language, detailed to such an extent that it can be fairly heavy going as a bed-time read.Published 1 month ago by Nodrog
Wonderful - I always find Bill Bryson amusing but this one has interesting scholarship also.Published 1 month ago by PhilipM
Entertaining and informative history of the English language, and how it compares to other tongues. An enjoyable read during my work lunchbreak.Published 2 months ago by Daisy
Riddled with inaccuracies. Most annoyingly bad book on the english language I have ever read.Published 2 months ago by Andrew G. Morrow