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The English language is a beautiful thing, but it suffers under relentless assault from Americans who want nothing more than to corrupt the mother tongue.
Well, that's what we're told.
But what's the truth?
And whose language is it anyway?
Lynne Murphy, an American linguist living in England, dives into the war of words being waged over the Atlantic. In a laugh-out-loud report, she separates reality from myth in this special relationship and delves into the social and political forces that have seen British and American English part ways. From the origins of 'the bee's knees' to why so many of Hollywood's evil geniuses sound as though they were educated at Oxford, The Prodigal Tongue reveals how our language really works and tells us where it's going.
About the Author
Lynne Murphy is a professor in linguistics at the University of Sussex. A dual British/American citizen, she lives in Brighton.
`[Murphy's] delivery is sparkling, her approach mischievous, her material brightened by the unexpected...a potpourri of enchanting, counterintuitive surprises...The Prodigal Tongue is playful, funny, smart and often humbling...Murphy's prose is beguiling, and sprinkled with sprightly quotations...before the apocalypse, you could do worse than read Lynne Murphy's delightful book.' Times Literary Supplement
`Witty and erudite...what lifts The Prodigal Tongue is Murphy's deep learning, lightly worn, in linguistics and linguistic history...fascinating.' Financial Times
`A fun, practical and intelligent book which reminds us it's OK to say tomato both ways.' The American, Books of the Year
`Murphy ranges far and wide, with much wonderful detail and colour. She is particularly good on sport, manners, class and death, and her observations on food are fascinating.' The Times
`Murphy's book is pedantic, but for once the definition is positive: she gets things right, offers proof and skewers inaccuracy, and does so with wit and erudition.' Daily Telegraph
ISBN: 9781786074973 ISBN-10: 1786074974 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 368 Published: 6th May 2019 Publisher: Oneworld Publications Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 12.8
Weight (kg): 0.34