Bryson displays an encyclopedic knowledge of his topic, and this inevitably encourages a light tone; the more you know about a subject, the more absurd it becomes. No jokes are necessary, the facts do well enough by themselves, and Bryson supplies tens per page. As well as tossing off gems of fractured English (from a Japanese eraser: "This product will self-destruct in Mother Earth."), Bryson frequently takes time to compare the idiosyncratic tongue with other languages. Not only does this give a laugh (one word: Welsh), and always shed considerable light, it also makes the reader feel fortunate to speak English.
On p. 107 he manages to associate the Martha's Vineyard pronunciation research with Trudgill instead of Labov.
Bill Bryson's humor and style of writing always guarantee a wonderful read, but this was a particularly enjoyable book.
It's a book you'll need to keep around, go back to from time to time and can even be read out of order or in intervals.
Bill Bryson.....there aren't enough good words in the Mother Tongue to adequately describe just how much fun he is to read.Published 19 days ago by judy f harper
A fascinating look at our language. Sound like it would be boring? You would be dead wrong- Bill Bryson has the skill to make any topic alive, exciting and absolutely... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Leilag
Entertaining and educational!! Bill Bryson certainly knows how to turn a phrase! Even a very odd one :)Published 26 days ago by Karen Haley
I've never read Bryson before, so didn't know what to expect. His writing style is fun. Bryson packs a ton of fascinating information about the English language into very... Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Lussier
I'm a language nerd (though not exactly an expert in anything; I'm a self-taught freelance editor with an eye for line edits). Read morePublished 1 month ago by Swank Ivy
Hilarious and incredibly rich in the conundrums, peculiarities, and wealth contained in the English language. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Randy Mack
Bill Bryson has carved out a niche for himself as a popular travel writer with an interest in language. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Hamilton Beck