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With dazzling wit and astonishing insight Bill Bryson the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent brilliantly explores the remarkable history eccentricities resilie The one thing that bothered me the most about this book was a huge error it had on swearwords in reference to my mother tongue Finnish p 210 Ch Swearing in my Penguin paperback Some cultures don t swear at all The Finns lacking the sort of words you need to describe your feelings when you stub your toe getting up to answer a phone at 200 am rather oddly adopted the word ravintolassa It means in the restaurant I mean what the hell We Finns have probably the world s most colourful collection of swearwords Someone pulled old Bill s leg and did it properly too That casts doubt on all he has written really And nobody says ravintolassa unless they do in fact mean in the restaurant Transforming Multilateral Diplomacy: The Inside Story of the Sustainable Development Goals p 210 Ch Swearing in my Penguin All Night Long (Nannies, paperback Some cultures don t swear at all The Finns lacking the sort of words you need to describe your feelings when you stub your toe getting up to answer a The Freeze-Frame Revolution probably the world s most colourful collection of swearwords Someone The New-York Review, and Atheneum Magazine, Vol. 2 pulled old Bill s leg and did it Mon patron voulait que je tape les seins nus properly too That casts doubt on all he has written really And nobody says ravintolassa unless they do in fact mean in the restaurant

Read The Mother Tongue English and How It Got That Way

The Mother Tongue English and How It Got That Way

Bryson tells the fascinating often uproarious story of an inadeuate second rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the world's largest growth industrie What a hilarious fascinating and educational look at our wacky wonderful and WAY complicated language If English is your mother tongue this book will amaze and amuse you with interesting tidbits about just how our language evolved into the wonder it is If you had to learn English as a second language and power to you then bless your heart for taking on the task You will read this book and say YES absolutely I always wondered etc Bill Bryson turns his sharp eyes to The Mother Tongue and takes us all on a fabulous journey through and overview of the intricacies of human language You will laugh smile and learn a few things while you re at it The Line peasants that developed into one of the world's largest growth industrie What a hilarious fascinating and educational look at our wacky wonderful and WAY complicated language If English is your mother tongue this book will amaze and amuse you with interesting tidbits about just how our language evolved into the wonder it is If you had to learn English as a second language and Your Naughty Playmate 3 - Cuckolding Fantasy power to you then bless your heart for taking on the task You will read this book and say YES absolutely I always wondered etc Bill Bryson turns his sharp eyes to The Mother Tongue and takes us all on a fabulous journey through and overview of the intricacies of human language You will laugh smile and learn a few things while you re at it

review Ë E-book, or Kindle E-pub Ø Bill Bryson

Nce and sheer fun of the English language From the first descent of the larynx into the throat why you can talk but your dog can't to the fine lost art of swearing I know exactly a little bit about English and a little bit less about linguistics in general Studied a few foreign languages took a linguistics class or two in college I m what you might call a big fan of language A dabbler Certainly not an expert But boy did I find this book infuriatingMy problem with this book is that it gets so much right and so much wrong The example that really set me off was his treatment of the Welsh language To Bryson Welsh is as unpronounceable as it looks and Welsh pronunciations rarely bear much relation to their spellings He then spouts off with a series of jokes that are so ethnocentric and condescending that if you took them at face value you couldn t help but feel sorry for the poor backward speakers of silly old WelshThe problem is he s completely wrong I happened to study the phonology and orthography of Welsh for about a week in that freshman linguistics class I know that makes me a big authority right but in that week I learned something Bryson apparently never bothered to look up Welsh orthography is remarkably regular about as regular as Spanish It s not at all difficult if you bother to learn the rules which are far simpler than those of English The fact that I learned them in one week and remember them decades later should be some indication of how easy they are The phoneme represented by the double l is called a lateral fricative and yes it s hard to pronounce if you don t speak Welsh but that does not mean it s sometimes pronounced kl and other times thl as Bryson suggests It is always pronounced just like it s spelled But Bryson s Anglo American tin ear failed to pick that up and he took his ignorance and turned it into a cheap joke at another culture s expenseKnowing that he got Welsh so wrong made me doubt all of the rest of the information in the book And that s a real shame because it covers such fascinating topics and it s so very entertainingly written But it s hard to enjoy Bryson s jokes when you have this nagging suspicion that he s bending the truth for the sake of a snappy punchline The Doctors Dating Bargain problem with this book is that it gets so much right and so much wrong The example that really set me off was his treatment of the Welsh language To Bryson Welsh is as unpronounceable as it looks and Welsh The Collection pronunciations rarely bear much relation to their spellings He then spouts off with a series of jokes that are so ethnocentric and condescending that if you took them at face value you couldn t help but feel sorry for the Whispers of Feathers poor backward speakers of silly old WelshThe Mount série tome 3 - L'empire du mal problem is he s completely wrong I happened to study the Entrepreneurial Vernacular phonology and orthography of Welsh for about a week in that freshman linguistics class I know that makes me a big authority right but in that week I learned something Bryson apparently never bothered to look up Welsh orthography is remarkably regular about as regular as Spanish It s not at all difficult if you bother to learn the rules which are far simpler than those of English The fact that I learned them in one week and remember them decades later should be some indication of how easy they are The Advanced C Programming by Example phoneme represented by the double l is called a lateral fricative and yes it s hard to Poslije svega (After, pronounce if you don t speak Welsh but that does not mean it s sometimes Die Herrenschneiderei pronounced kl and other times thl as Bryson suggests It is always Calling Cards: Uncover Your Calling pronounced just like it s spelled But Bryson s Anglo American tin ear failed to Cities of God pick that up and he took his ignorance and turned it into a cheap joke at another culture s expenseKnowing that he got Welsh so wrong made me doubt all of the rest of the information in the book And that s a real shame because it covers such fascinating topics and it s so very entertainingly written But it s hard to enjoy Bryson s jokes when you have this nagging suspicion that he s bending the truth for the sake of a snappy


10 thoughts on “The Mother Tongue English and How It Got That Way

  1. says:

    I have to share my discontent with the world after keeping the words bottled up inside me for so longI bought this book abo

  2. says:

    The one thing that bothered me the most about this book was a huge error it had on swearwords in reference to my mother tongue Finnish p 210 Ch Swearing in my Penguin paperback “Some cultures don’t swear at all The Fi

  3. says:

    The Mother Tongue is the story of the evolution of the English language from its humble beginnings as a Germanic tongue to what it has evolved into over the centuriesSo Bill Bryson cheap euals insta buy for me apparently Too bad even Bill Bryson couldn't make this terribly entertainingI have a long history as the obscure facts guy at social gatherings at least I did when people still invited me to such things However even I had tr

  4. says:

    I gave this book 4 stars for an enjoyable reading experience But if I'm being honest I'm not entirely sure how accurate it is The idea of this being credible nonfiction came to a bit of screeching halt for me when Bryson described Pennsylvania Dutch as an English dialect He seems to have confused the broken English many older Amish and Mennonite speak expressions like make open the door with the separate langua

  5. says:

    I know exactly a little bit about English and a little bit less about linguistics in general Studied a few foreign languages took a linguistics class or two in college I'm what you might call a big fan of langua

  6. says:

    Ever since I learned to read English has been my favourite language I took to it like a duck takes to water at least I guess they take to it willingly and that baby ducks are not paddled until their feathers fly by

  7. says:

    Non fiction Published in 1990 this book is already a little out of date In its first pages Bryson reports OED editor Robert Burchfi

  8. says:

    1★ DNFI thought this would be fun I love words and languages and have a passing interest in linguistics I started this with enthusiasm and was enjoying his breezy style until it occurred to me that a lot of what he was saying seemed to be anecdotal You know limited or no research Then I thought well it was written than 25 years ago so thi

  9. says:

    What a hilarious fascinating and educational look at our wacky wonderful and WAY complicated language If English is your mother tongue this book will amaze and amuse you with interesting tidbits about just how our language evolved into the wo

  10. says:

    I teach English as a foreign language but other than that linguistics and language learning is just a hobby having said that I know enough Irish German Czech Russian and Spanish to know that the things he said a

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