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Download Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling fb2, epub

by David Wolman

Download Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling fb2, epub

ISBN: 0061369268
Author: David Wolman
Language: English
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (March 23, 2010)
Pages: 224
Category: Words Language & Grammar
Subcategory: Reference
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 130
Size Fb2: 1331 kb
Size ePub: 1309 kb
Size Djvu: 1724 kb
Other formats: lit lrf doc docx


Righting the Mother Tongue book.

Righting the Mother Tongue book. St. Petersburg Times.

But when measured by the commonsense yardstick of consistent sound-to-letter correspondence, there’s no denying that English spelling is a nightmare.

Righting the Mother Tongue tells the cockamamie story of English .

Righting the Mother Tongue tells the cockamamie story of English spelling. When did ghost acquire its silent 'h'? Will cyberspace kill the one in rhubarb? And was it really rocket scientists who invented spell-check? Seeking to untangle the twisted story of English spelling, David Wolman takes us on a wordly adventure from English battlefields to Google headquarters.

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In Righting the Mother Tongue, the author of A Left-Hand Turn Around the World brings us the tangled story .

St.

In Righting the mummy Tongue, writer David Wolman tells the cockamamie tale of English spelling, in terms of a wordly event from English battlefields to Google headquarters

In Righting the mummy Tongue, writer David Wolman tells the cockamamie tale of English spelling, in terms of a wordly event from English battlefields to Google headquarters. alongside the best way, he joins spelling reformers picketing the nationwide spelling bee, visits town in Belgium-not England-where the 1st English books have been published, and takes a highway journey with the boss.

Seeking to untangle the twisted story of English spelling, David Wolman takes us on a wordly adventure from .

Seeking to untangle the twisted story of English spelling, David Wolman takes us on a wordly adventure from English battlefields to Google headquarters. Rich with history, pop culture, curiosity and humor, Righting the Mother Tongue explores how English spelling came to be, traces efforts to mend the code and imagines the shape of tomorrow's words.

When did ghost acquire its silent h? Will cyberspace kill the one in rhubarb? And was it really rocket scientists who invented spell-check?

In Righting the Mother Tongue, author David Wolman tells the cockamamie story of English spelling, by way of a wordly adventure from English battlefields to Google headquarters. Along the way, he joins spelling reformers picketing the national spelling bee, visits the town in Belgium—not England—where the first English books were printed, and takes a road trip with the boss at Merriam-Webster Inc. Wolman punctuates the journey with spelling wars waged by the likes of Samuel Johnson, Noah Webster, Theodore Roosevelt, and Andrew Carnegie.

Rich with history, pop culture, curiosity, and humor, Righting the Mother Tongue explores how English spelling came to be, traces efforts to mend the code, and imagines the shape of tomorrow's words.

Comments:

Sardleem
I have a bumper sticker on my car that states the following: "English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over, and rummages through their pockets for loose grammar." Wolman, who admits he's had spelling problems for years, evidently agrees with this sentiment in this short, often humorous survey of English spelling.

Once upon a time, he tells us, English speaking people weren't hung up on proper spelling. Shakespeare himself spelled his own name several different ways. But then the bugaboo of "proper language" invaded the old country, care of several scholars including Jonathan Swift, and the race for proper spelling was on. When the inhabitants of the United States broke off from Great Britain, Noah Webster roamed wholesale through vocabulary, removing the useless "u's" in colour and favour, and even Presidents of the United States like Theodore Roosevelt pushed for simplified spelling: "good" to be "gud," for example.

If you've ever wondered why those silent letters were in words (like the "h" in "ghost," for one), or what a Great Vowel Shift was, or which writers threw their hats in the Simplified Spelling ring, this book will prove a treat.
watching to future
I have not finished the whole book yet but really enjoyed every bit of it. I suggest the author anchor a TV program series to bring more vividly what he presented in the book to the screen.

It is a must read especially for lefties.
Flamekiller
Best book I've ever read!
Hucama
A wonderful text for speakers and readers of English: those who love the dominance of word, the feel of a word in their mouth and the glory of a word in cursive just because the curve or weight of it pleases the eye.
Though we know snatches of the history of our language, this author takes us on a historical journey with David Crystal in an organized manner that puts it into an understandable perspective.
English is a mongrel language, created by the influence of occupying forces on a small cluster the north western islands. This language heavily German but romantically Latin with flourishes of French, with thousand and thousands of words imported from the colonies that were the Empire is a work of wonder.
I love Crystal's definition of "linguistics is to describe how words and rules are used, not to tell people how to use them".
This has not kept people from turgid prescriptivism, which many a teacher has made us suffer under: The primary battles fall more to spelling than usage. There have always been battles between those who want words spelled phonetically with the offending extra and silent letters excised and those who want just as passionately want words to reflect their root language and history. I will always prefer the latter. This might have to do with my Catholic Girls School education, where the unbending Mother Roberta who taught all four years of English, ran our library and taught drama made us pronounce the Queen 's English, and if we mis-spoke made us turn to the class and pronounce the word correctly four times. I so many times pronouncing poor as pore, stood dutifully any repeated 'poo re'.
In spite of these trials she loved language and words and her enthusiasm was infectious.
This treatise deals with the battles for control of the written word, and why those regardless of their sense of purpose and righteousness never prevailed. "Most of us share a resistance to anything that smacks of the few telling the many how to behave." Is Wolman's summation of the battles that rage within quarters even today.
Very fun read
Shaktiktilar
This was a very interesting concept for me. The history of the English language is one that sounds intriguing and interesting. The book does do a good job of attempting to make the topic interesting as and intriguing as well but the results are mixed.

The text details the history of peoples in English speaking lands, primarily England. By outlining the history as it relates to the linguistic usage the author give s a great historical backdrop and foundation to the history of the language. In this respect the author does a great job.

The second part of the book to talk about discusses more specific word evolutions and how certain words came about in relation to the mixing of languages and influences. The book also outlines certain accidents of usage that have been granted permanence in the language lexicon.

The last part of the book to discuss deals with organizations related to the codification of the language. This includes the advent of the dictionary, the efforts to simplify spelling in the early 20th century and then of course the advent of the digital/internet age and the implications thereof.

The Good:
1 Very crisp writing style. Easy to follow.
2 Very quick read. I finished this one in a single sitting.
3 Seems to be sourced very well. I did not get the feeling that the information was shot from the hip but was properly researched.
4 Well organized. I thought the chapters built on each other and were properly mapped out.

The Not So Good:
1. I felt as if it was well written but perhaps a bit more humor or humanization of the topic could have made this topic a bid more engaging. The narration seemed just a bit dry to me.

A very good book and one that is very interesting. This is a 4 star effort in my opinion. With just a bit more humor or personalization of the tale this could have been a 5 star work. I recommend the book without reservation.

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