- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (September 7, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140260234
- ISBN-13: 978-0140260236
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 46 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Language Myths 0th Edition
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From the Back Cover
Language is a part of us all and is tightly woven into human experience. Yet, although research into language has increased at a phenomenal rate over the last fifty years, misconceptions abound.
This illuminating and highly readable collection of essays explores some of the myths, for example: standards of children's speech and writing have declined; women talk too much; the 'purity' of the English language is under threat; some languages are more attractive to the ear or are harder to learn than others; the media has a detrimental effect on language. These widely held views are questioned and shown to be based on inadequate or false information, or simply, not to be true. Other essays explore spelling problems, attitudes towards accents, controversies over changes in language, and the belief that some languages have no grammar.
Written by a team of leading linguists, Language Myths contains many valuable insights and provides a fascinating introduction into the way language works. The contributors are:
Jean Aitchison -- John Algeo -- Lars-Gunnar Andersson -- Laurie Bauer -- Winifred Bauer -- Edward Carney -- J. K. Chambers -- Jenny Cheshire -- John H. Esling -- Nicholas Evans -- Howard Giles and Nancy Niedzielski -- Ray Harlow -- Janet Holmes -- Anthony Lodge -- James Milroy -- Lesley Milroy -- Michael Montgomery -- Dennis R. Preston -- Peter Roach -- Peter Trudgill -- Walt Wolfram
About the Author
Peter Trudgill and Laurie Bauer are both respected linguists. Trudgill has written many books for Penguin (including Sociolinguistics which has sold 130,000 copies since it was first published in 1974). Other contributors include Jean Aitchison (Professor of Language at Oxford), Lars Gunnar-Andersson (co-author of Bad Language with Trudgill) and Janet Holmes (Women, Men and Politeness, 1995, Longman). Peter Trudgill lives in Lausanne (and sometimes Norwich.) Laurie Bauer lives in New Zealand.
Top customer reviews
The authors and editors of "Language Myths" have presented a cogent set of essays which set the record straight on a variety of language topics. They illustrate how social biases shape our perceptions of language use. They discuss the mechanisms that drive the change and evolution of language, how subtle distinctions are refined, and how the language is normalized and simplified through the introduction of new words.
A fascinating read. A wonderful source of "trivia" for conversation. A set of thought provoking arguments that may help reshape your world view. A great defense for the next time some grammarian corrects your speech or writing -- it may just be that their prescribed usage is the deviant form, not yours.