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. Blooming English 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 can be used for browsing, for finding beguiling snippets about language, history and social customs, and can be a formidable weapon in word games.
'Blooming English is easy to read, informative and entertaining ... Anyone interested in the English language should get it. Enjoy!' Herald Sun 'In Blooming English Burridge has wrested our beloved language away from fusty and pedantic linguists and championed its ability to grow and develop. Her passion for the complexities of language fuels this book and really rubbed off on me.' (publication not known) 'Burridge observes the unruly garden of language with the dedication and wonder of a seasoned botanist. Her enthusiasm is infectious.' The Age 'She has a wonderful ability to make quite complex linguistic issues accessible to a general audience, often with the aid of wit and humour.' Australian Book Review 'Burridge writes 'racial and ethnic swearwords are the true obscenities. Their use is so provocative as to have legal consequences'.' Times Literary Supplement '... a fascinating little book ...' Writers Forum '... a book, which far from being a dry study in linguistics, is eminently readable and infused by a dry sense of humour.' Writing Magazine 'Blooming English is an enjoyable browse, with fascinating insights into a wide range of questions concerning the English language. It is erudite yet light-hearted, and well informed while being accessible.' The Times Higher Education Supplement 'Blooming English is a well-researched and neatly edited introduction into the world of linguistics for non- specialists. This is in particular due to Kate Burridge's extraordinary talent for explaining rather complicated linguistic topics in a way that is accessible to non-linguists, which is greatly facilitated by her wonderful enthusiasm ... its casual style makes Blooming English excellent reading ... It therefore is highly recommendable to language enthusiasts, no matter whether professional or amateur.' Robert Mailhammer, LINGUIST List