Blooming English: Observations on the Roots, Cultivation and Hybrids of the English Language by Kate BurridgeBlooming English: Observations on the Roots, Cultivation and Hybrids of the English Language by Kate Burridge

Blooming English: Observations on the Roots, Cultivation and Hybrids of the English Language

byKate Burridge

Paperback | June 21, 2004

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English is the most creative, changeable and imaginative of languages. Some words are invented to meet temporary needs and are quickly discarded; others carry meanings hundreds of years old. Language fascinates us, and we spend a lot of time playing with it, concocting everything from puns, riddles and secret languages to wonderful prose and poetry. We also worry about it a great deal, looking up and checking words in dictionaries and usage guides, occasionally arguing about definitions. This book celebrates our capacity to play with language, as well as examining the ways we use it: in slang and jargon, swearing, speaking the unspeakable, or concealing unpleasant or inconvenient facts. It is a book for browsing, for finding beguiling snippets about language, history and social customs, and for using as a formidable weapon in word games.
Kate Burridge is Professor of Linguistics at Monash University. She is well known for her broadcasts on ABC Radio's Soundback.
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Title:Blooming English: Observations on the Roots, Cultivation and Hybrids of the English LanguageFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:252 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.59 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.43 × 0.59 inPublished:June 21, 2004Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521548322

ISBN - 13:9780521548328

Reviews

Table of Contents

1. Why a garden?; 2. The complexity of language; 3. Language change; 4. Word creation; 5. Meaning shifts; 6. Relics of linguistic change; 7. The nature of exotics; 8. Bad language; 9. Colloquial today, Standard English tomorrow; 10. Our untidy English; 11. Sound symbolism; 12. What is correct English?; 13. Dictionaries, style guides and grammars; 14. Personal names; 15. Dirty words; 16. Taboo language; References; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"Popular treatments of English usage abound. But this book brings a fresh perspective to the topic drawing an analogy between 'weeds' in a garden and so-called errors of English usage. This metaphor is sustained throughout the book and really helps the reader understand that many usages that we condemn as 'weeds' (e.g. ain't or double negatives) were at one time quite ordinary members of the linguistic 'garden'." Charles F. Meyer, University of Massachusetts