spell it out the story of english spelling

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Spell It Out

Author : David Crystal
ISBN : 9781847658227
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 53. 97 MB
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Why is there an 'h' in ghost? William Caxton, inventor of the printing press and his Flemish employees are to blame: without a dictionary or style guide to hand in fifteenth century Bruges, the typesetters simply spelled it the way it sounded to their foreign ears, and it stuck. Seventy-five per cent of English spelling is regular but twenty-five per cent is complicated, and in Spell It Out our foremost linguistics expert David Crystal extends a helping hand to the confused and curious alike. He unearths the stories behind the rogue words that confound us, and explains why these peculiarities entered the mainstream, in an epic journey taking in sixth century monks, French and Latin upstarts, the Industrial Revolution and the internet. By learning the history and the principles, Crystal shows how the spellings that break all the rules become easier to get right.

Spell It Out

Author : David Crystal
ISBN : 9781250028860
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 39. 52 MB
Format : PDF
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The fascinating and surprising history of English spelling from David Crystal, everyone's favorite expert logophile With The Story of English in 100 Words, David Crystal took us on a tour through the history of our language. Now, with Spell It Out, he takes on the task of answering all the questions about how we spell: "Why is English spelling so difficult?" Or "Why are good spellers so proud of their achievement that when they see a misspelling they condemn the writer as sloppy, lazy, or uneducated?" In thirty-seven short, engaging and informative chapters, Crystal takes readers on a history of English spelling, starting with the Roman missionaries' sixth century introduction of the Roman alphabet and ending with where the language might be going. He looks individually at each letter in the alphabet and its origins. He considers the question of vowels and how people developed a way to tell whether or not it was long or short. He looks at influences from other cultures, and explains how English speakers understood that the "o" in "hopping" was a short vowel, rather than the long vowel of "hoping". If you've ever asked yourself questions like "Why do the words "their", "there" and "they're" sound alike, but mean very different things?" or "How can we tell the difference between "charge" the verb and "charge" the noun?" David Crystal's Spell It Out will spell it all out for you.

Making A Point

Author : David Crystal
ISBN : 9781782831082
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 90. 96 MB
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This 'engaging history of punctuation' (Wall Street Journal) is not only the first history of its kind, but a complete guide on how to use English punctuation. Behind every punctuation mark lies a thousand stories. The punctuation of English, marked with occasional rationality, is founded on arbitrariness and littered with oddities. For a system of a few dozen marks it generates a disproportionate degree of uncertainty and passion, inspiring organisations like the Apostrophe Protection Society and sending enthusiasts, correction-pens in hand, in a crusade against error. Professor Crystal leads us through this minefield with characteristic wit, clarity and commonsense. He gives a fascinating account of the origin and progress of every kind of punctuation mark over one and a half millennia, and he offers sound advice on how punctuation may be used to meet the needs of every occasion and context.

The History Of English Spelling

Author : Christopher Upward
ISBN : 9781444342970
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 56. 75 MB
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The History of English Spelling reveals the history of Modern English spelling, tracing its origins and development from Old English up to the present day. Includes a wealth of information and data on English spelling not available anywhere else Features a complementary website with additional material at www.historyofenglishspelling.info Includes detailed coverage of the contributions from French, Latin, Greek - and the many other languages - to our current orthography Serves as a companion volume to Geoffrey Hughes's A History of English Words in the same series

Making Sense

Author : David Crystal
ISBN : 9780190660574
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 41. 69 MB
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In Making Sense, David Crystal confronts the foe of many: grammar. Once taught relentlessly to all students in the English-speaking world, grammar disappeared from most school curricula, so that terms such as "preposition" and "conjunction" now often confound children and adults alike. Explaining the nuts and bolts of grammar presents a special challenge, because - far more than is the case with spelling and punctuation - the subject is burdened with a centuries-old history of educational practice that many will recall as anything but glamorous. One of the world's foremost authorities on the English language, Crystal sets out to rid grammar of its undeserved reputation as a dry and intimidating subject, pointing out how essential grammar is to clear and effective speech and writing. He moves briskly through the stages by which children acquire grammar, along the way demystifying grammar's rules and irregularities and showing us how to navigate its snares and pitfalls. He offers the fascinating history of grammar, explaining how it has evolved from the first grammarians in ancient Greece to our 21st century digital environment of blogging, emailing, and texting. Many find grammar to be a daunting subject, but in this breezy, entertaining book, Crystal proves that grammar doesn't need to make us uneasy-we can all make sense of how we make sense.

The Stories Of English

Author : David Crystal
ISBN : 9781468306170
Genre : History
File Size : 81. 13 MB
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The groundbreaking history of the English language, fusing chronological with anecdotal and etymological accounts of individual word-histories, to create not one story, but many stories. The English language is now accepted as the global lingua franca of the modern age, spoken or written in by over a quarter of the human race. But how did it evolve? How did a language spoken originally by a few thousand Anglo-Saxons become one used by more than 1,500 million? What developments can be seen as we move from Beowulf to Chaucer to Shakespeare to Dickens and the present day? A host of fascinating questions are answered in The Stories of English, a groundbreaking history of the language by David Crystal, the world-renowned writer and commentator on English. Many books have been written about English, but they have all focused on a single variety: the educated, printed language called “standard” English. David Crystal turns the history of English on its head and instead provides a startlingly original view of where the richness, creativity and diversity of the language truly lies—in the accents and dialects of nonstandard English users all over the world. Whatever their regional, social or ethnic background, each group has a story worth telling, whether it is in Scotland or Somerset, South Africa or Singapore. Interweaved within this central chronological story are accounts of uses of dialect around the world as well as in literary classics from The Canterbury Tales to The Lord of the Rings. For the first time, regional speech and writing is placed center stage, giving a sense of the social realities behind the development of English. This significant shift in perspective enables the reader to understand for the first time the importance of everyday, previously marginalized, voices in our language and provides an argument too for the way English should be taught in the future.

The Blue Book Of Grammar And Punctuation

Author : Jane Straus
ISBN : 9781118790328
Genre : Education
File Size : 32. 96 MB
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A revised and updated new edition of the bestselling workbook and grammar guide The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation is a concise, entertaining workbook and guide to English grammar, punctuation, and usage. This user-friendly resource includes simple explanations of grammar, punctuation, and usage; scores of helpful examples; dozens of reproducible worksheets; and pre- and post-tests to help teach grammar to students of all ages. Appropriate for virtually any age range, this authoritative guide makes learning English grammar and usage simple and fun. This updated Eleventh Edition reflects the latest updates to English usage and grammar and features a fully revised two-color design and lay-flat binding for easy photocopying. Clear and concise, easy-to-follow, offering "just the facts" Fully updated to reflect the latest rules in grammar and usage along with new quizzes Ideal for students from seventh grade through adulthood in the US and abroad For anyone who wants to understand the major rules and subtle guidelines of English grammar and usage, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation offers comprehensive, straightforward instruction.

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