This book aims to arouse curiosity about English words and about the nature of language in general, especially among introductory students who do not intend to specialize in linguistics. It examines words from various backgrounds - including poetry, journalism, advertising. No previous knowledge of linguistics is assumed. The approach to the study of words is descriptive rather than theoretical. It looks at the structure of words, their meaning, spelling and pronunciation, how new words are manufactured or imported, and how the meaning of words change with time. Katamba also investigates how the mind deals with the amazing intellectual feat of retrieving the right word from its mental dictionary during conversation.
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