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The Mother Tongue - English And How It Got That Way

The Mother Tongue - English And How It Got That Way

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Author: Bill Bryson
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Category: Book

List Price: $14.99
Buy New: $8.25
as of 7/30/2014 16:04 EDT details
You Save: $6.74 (45%)

New (54) Used (200) Collectible (4) from $0.01

Seller: pbshopus
Sales Rank: 9,166

Languages: English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
Media: Paperback
Edition: Reissue
Pages: 272
Number Of Items: 1
Shipping Weight (lbs): 0.5
Dimensions (in): 8 x 5.3 x 0.7

ISBN: 0380715430
EAN: 9780380715435
ASIN: 0380715430

Publication Date: 1990
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Also Available In:

  • Unknown Binding - The Mother Tongue (SIGNED COPY)
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  • Hardcover - The Mother Tongue - English & How It Got That Way
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  • Library Binding - The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way
  • Hardcover - The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way
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  • Hardcover - MOTHER TONGUE
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  • Unknown Binding - THe MOther TOngue, English and How it got that way
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  • Audio Cassette - The Mother Tongue
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  • Paperback - The Mother Tongue
  • Hardcover - The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way
  • Hardcover - Mother Tongue. The English Language
  • Paperback - THE MOTHER TONGUE: English & How it Got That Way
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  • Paperback - Mother Tongue: The English Language [Braille]: Grade 2
  • Unknown Binding - The Mother Tongue
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  • Hardcover - The Mother Tongue English & How it Got That Way
  • Hardcover - The Mother Tongue: English & How It Got That Way
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Editorial Reviews:

Product Description
With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Bryson--the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent--brilliantly explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience and sheer fun of the English language. From the first descent of the larynx into the throat (why you can talk but your dog can't), to the fine lost art of swearing, Bryson tells the fascinating, often uproarious story of an inadequate, second-rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the world's largest growth industries.

Amazon.com Review
Who would have thought that a book about English 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 rhapsodize about "the colorless 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.


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