Blooming English: Observations on the Roots, Cultivation and Hybrids of the English Language

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, May 27, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 242 pages
0 Reviews
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. This book 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 is a book for browsing, for finding beguiling snippets about language, history and social customs, and for using as a formidable weapon in word games.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

Blooming English: observations on the roots, cultivation and hybrids of the English language

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Burridge (linguistics, Monash Univ., Australia), the author of several earlier books on Australian English, syntactic change, euphemism, and English grammar, is also a regular commentator on language ... Read full review

Blooming English: observations on the roots, cultivation and hybrids of the English language

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Unlike Lynne Truss, author of the bestselling Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Australian linguist Burridge sees her role regarding language as more descriptive than prescriptive. But Truss's fans may also ... Read full review

Contents

Why a Garden?
1
The Complexity of Language
7
Language Change
26
Word Creation
43
Meaning Shifts
56
Relics of Linguistic Change
79
The Nature of Exotics
85
Bad Language
92
Sound Symbolism
142
What is Correct English?
154
Dictionaries Style Guides and Grammars
164
Personal Names
187
Dirty Words
199
Taboo Language
212
References
232
Index
236

Colloquial Today Standard English Tomorrow
111
Our Untidy English
129

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

Kate Burridge is Professor of Linguistics at Monash University. She is well known for her broadcasts on ABC Radio's Soundback.

Bibliographic information