Download Blooming English: Observations on the Roots, Cultivation and by Kate Burridge PDF

By Kate Burridge

ISBN-10: 0521548322

ISBN-13: 9780521548328

English is the main inventive, changeable and ingenious of languages. a few phrases are invented to fulfill transitority wishes and are quick discarded; others hold meanings enormous quantities of years previous. Language fascinates us, and we spend loads of time fiddling with it, concocting every thing from puns, riddles and mystery languages to exceptional prose and poetry. We additionally fear approximately it very much, having a look up and checking phrases in dictionaries and utilization publications, sometimes arguing approximately definitions. This booklet celebrates our means to play with language, in addition to studying the methods we use it: in slang and jargon, swearing, conversing the unspeakable, or concealing disagreeable or inconvenient proof. it's a ebook for searching, for locating beguiling snippets approximately language, background and social customs, and for utilizing as a powerful weapon in note video games.

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

Example text

For quite some time people continued to say things like I know not and Fear not- we have to wait until well into the eighteenth century before the system we now know stabilized. So what's the current state of play? Well, in normal speech not is reduced to -n't and squishes onto the verb as in won't from will not. In fact, it often disappears entirely. In normal rapid speech, all that's left is a bit of nasality on the vowel - much like the Cheshire Cat's grin, the nasality lingers on. Sound change has now left not a fragment of the original expression ne-a-wiht from which it derives.

For example, I don't believe anyone associates a nitwit with nit 'louse' and wit 'intellect'. This would be true 47 BLOOMING ENGLISH The dishonest compound? In some types of Modern English compounding is particularly popular. I am referring here to those superliterate varieties like Bureaucratese, Educationalese and Linguisticalese. The characteristic practice of many of these 'eses' is to take a phrase like 'the congruency between occupational choice and vocational interest' and replace it with the handy compound occupational choicevocational interest congruency.

Nearly everyone has experienced at some time the difficulty of repeating the same action over and over again - whether it's on a computer keyboard, folding paper, stuffing envelopes or repeating sounds in a tongue twister. Suddenly you find yourself doing something weird, often substituting a totally different action. It seems it's hard for us to get our brains firing the same way in rapid succession. So, when we come to repeat something like The sixth sheik's sixth sheep's sick, our tongue slips and we start substituting other sounds.

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


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