Inventing English

A unique blend of historical and personal narrative, Inventing English is the surprising tale of a language that is as dynamic as the people to whom it belongs.

Inventing English

Inventing English

Why is there such a striking difference between English spelling and English pronunciation? How did our seemingly relatively simple grammar rules develop? What are the origins of regional dialect, literary language, and everyday speech, and what do they have to do with you? Seth Lerer's Inventing English is a masterful, engaging history of the English language from the age of Beowulf to the rap of Eminem. Many have written about the evolution of our grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary, but only Lerer situates these developments in the larger history of English, America, and literature. Lerer begins in the seventh century with the poet Caedmon learning to sing what would become the earliest poem in English. He then looks at the medieval scribes and poets who gave shape to Middle English. He finds the traces of the Great Vowel Shift in the spelling choices of letter writers of the fifteenth century and explores the achievements of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of 1755 and The Oxford English Dictionary of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He describes the differences between English and American usage and, through the example of Mark Twain, the link between regional dialect and race, class, and gender. Finally, he muses on the ways in which contact with foreign languages, popular culture, advertising, the Internet, and e-mail continue to shape English for future generations. Each concise chapter illuminates a moment of invention-a time when people discovered a new form of expression or changed the way they spoke or wrote. In conclusion, Lerer wonders whether globalization and technology have turned English into a world language and reflects on what has been preserved and what has been lost. A unique blend of historical and personal narrative, Inventing English is the surprising tale of a language that is as dynamic as the people to whom it belongs.

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Inventing English
Language: en
Pages: 320
Authors: Seth Lerer
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2007-04-10 - Publisher: Columbia University Press

Why is there such a striking difference between English spelling and English pronunciation? How did our seemingly relatively simple grammar rules develop? What are the origins of regional dialect, literary language, and everyday speech, and what do they have to do with you? Seth Lerer's Inventing English is a masterful,
Inventing English
Language: en
Pages: 354
Authors: Seth Lerer
Categories: Language Arts & Disciplines
Type: BOOK - Published: 2015-08-25 - Publisher: Columbia University Press

A history of English from the age of Beowulf to the rap of Eminem, “written with real authority, enthusiasm and love for our unruly and exquisite language” (The Washington Post). Many have written about the evolution of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary, but only Seth Lerer situates these developments within the
The Experimental Fire
Language: en
Pages: 416
Authors: Jennifer M. Rampling
Categories: Alchemy
Type: BOOK - Published: 2020 - Publisher: Synthesis

"By reconstructing the alchemical ideas, practices, and disputes of the late medieval and early modern periods in England, following Roger Bacon, George Ripley, John Dee, Robert Boyle, and many others, Jennifer Rampling reveals how alchemical ideas were continually copied and reworked. She maps, over four centuries, their long-term evolution and
Inventing English
Language: en
Pages: 400
Authors: Dale Corey
Categories: Reference
Type: BOOK - Published: 2007-08-01 - Publisher:

Is your town a Utopia . . . or a Peyton Place?Is your child a Goody Two-Shoes . . . or a Dennis the Menace?Is your boss an example of the Peter Principle . . . or, even worse, a Simon Legree?From Lotharios and Lolitas to sour grapes and Trojan
English Historical Linguistics
Language: en
Pages: 1164
Authors: Alexander Bergs
Categories: Language Arts & Disciplines
Type: BOOK - Published: 2012-10-01 - Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

Books about English Historical Linguistics

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