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The Story of English Library Binding – Jun 5 2008


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 496 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435297644
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435297647
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.2 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,228,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
Twenty years ago, when I was working with William Cran and Robert MacNeil on the research and development stage of the television series that, initially, accompanied the book, not one of us suspected that the linguistic phenomenon were analysing - global English - was on the brink of becoming a worldwide sensation. Read the first page
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER on Dec 27 2001
Format: Hardcover
After watching the series it is fun to see the information in print.
Just about everything you ever wanted to know about the English Language is in this book. There are newer and older references but none so complete and at the same time readable. This book covers history, usage, almost usage and possible futures of the language.
One of my favorite antidotes was the one about how the Advisory Committee on Spoken English (ACSE) discussed the word "canine":
"Shaw brought up the word 'canine', and he wanted the recommendation to be 'cay-nine'... And somebody said 'Mr. Shaw, Mr. Chairman, I don't know why you bring this up, of course it's 'ca-nine'. Shaw said, 'I always pronounce things the way they are pronounced by people who use the word professionally every day.' And he said, 'My dentist always says (cay-nine)'. And somebody said, 'Well, in that case, Mr. Chairman, you must have an American dentist.' And he said, 'Of course, why do you think at 76 I have all my teeth!'"
After reading about how English came about, the next book to read would be "Divided by a Common Language" by Christopher Davies, Jason Murphy
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Xia M. on Dec 20 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book back in my 'English Conversation Teacher' days in Japan. Having been embrassed one to many times by students having to lecture me, their teacher, on the history of English, I figured I should do some 'catch-up reading.' I asked around for suggestions and was recommended 'The Story of English'.
It is free of the linguistic jargon most general readers would find pedantic, and although it is aimed at the general reader it is never condescending. The first half of the book explains the historical development of English while the second half focues on modern English.
Most refreshing though, is that it is free of the triumphalism found in many books of this kind. Reflecting the demographic reality of English today, it gives even-handed attention to the many contemporary varieties of English spoken around the world in places such as North America, Singapore, India, the Anglophone West Indies, and so on.
'The Story of English' is best suited to those who are curious about the origins as well as the future of English, and who want an easy-to-understand introduction to the subject.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a very readable and well researched introduction to the history of the English language. It contains a great deal of material about the many varieties of English, including separate chapters on Irish English, Scots English, American English, Caribbean English, and Australian and South African English. The photographs and maps that are featured throughout the book are excellent. The maps provide invaluable insights to the historical processes of change, and the pictures make the history come alive. In some places, it is clear that the book was written as a companion to the TV series, when the narrative takes us to an interview with a dialect speaker and then falls flat. If you have access to the video, the motivation for these interviews is much more clear when you can hear the person talk. This book would be excellent for the general reader; it would also make a good textbook for an introductory course on the development of English.
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By "ciccia" on Aug. 6 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderfully readable overview of the history of the English language, but very indepth as well. I highly recommend it. Perhaps the only problem with it is its size, but this allows for great maps and photos which help you follow along with the text. The greatest thing about it is that it isn't just a story of English, but of "Englishes."
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By Chad Bagley on May 4 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the English language and it's orgins. As an English teacher I have found the book to be a usefull reference and teaching tool. The book is also written clearly and in lay language so anyone can understand it.
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