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
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - klai - LibraryThing
A great little book doing away with misconceptions most people have about language. Since it's a collection of essays, there is variation in style and quality, but overall it's very good. The book could have done with tighter editing, however. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Katya0133 - LibraryThing
Each chapter is an essay which examines a common language myth. (E.g.: Appalachian English is Shakespeare's English, some languages are more logical than others, words shouldn't change meaning, etc ... Read full review
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