The Story of Be: A Verb's-Eye View of the English Language by David CrystalThe Story of Be: A Verb's-Eye View of the English Language by David Crystal

The Story of Be: A Verb's-Eye View of the English Language

byDavid Crystal

Hardcover | June 3, 2017

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It's the most simple, unassuming, innocent-looking verb: "to be" Yet it is jam-packed with more different meanings, forms, and uses than any other English word. As he reveals be's multiple incarnations, David Crystal takes us to the heart of our flexible and changing language. He tells theintriguing story in 26 chapters, each linked to a particular usage. We meet circumstantial be ("how are you?"), numerical be ("two and two is four"), quotative be ("so I was like, 'wow"'), and ludic be ("oh no he isn't!"), and a whole swarm of other meanings. Bringing the ideas to life are a host of examples from sources as varied as Beowulf, Jane Austen, pantomime, Hamlet (of course), and Star Wars, with cartoons from Ed McLachlan and Punch peppered throughout. Full of fascinating nuggets of information, it is a book to delight any lover of words andlanguage.
David Crystal is known throughout the world as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster on language. He has published extensively on the history and development of English, including The Stories of English (2004), Evolving English (2010), Begat: The King James Bible and the English Language (2010), The Story of English in 100 Words ...
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Title:The Story of Be: A Verb's-Eye View of the English LanguageFormat:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.03 inPublished:June 3, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198791097

ISBN - 13:9780198791096

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Table of Contents

Prologue: In the beginning1. To be or not to be2. Time being3. Being, as was4. Have you been?5. I am to resign6. Has the doctor been?7. How are you?8. I've been with someone9. Two and two is four10. I might be being obsessive, but...11. My kids are all grown up12. Wannabes and has-beens13. That is to say14. You're cheeky, you are15. Been and done it16. Business is business17. So be it18. I live in Wales, innit?19. So I was, like, wow20. Woe is me21. All shall be well22. How old are you?23. Is you is or is you ain't?24. Oh no he isn't25. Lane closed ahead26. It's just a book, after allAppendix: Old English pronunciations