Origins of the specious: myths, and misconceptions of the English language

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
Random House,
Pub. Date:
2009.
Language:
English
Description
Do you cringe when a talking head pronounces “niche” as NITCH? Do you get bent out of shape when your teenager begins a sentence with “and,” or says “octopuses” instead of “octopi”? Do you think British spellings are more “civilised” than the American versions? Would you bet the bank that “jeep” got its start as a military term and “SOS” as an acronym for “Save Our Ship”? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re myth-informed. Go stand in the corner–and read this book!In Origins of the Specious, word mavens Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman explode the misconceptions that have led generations of language lovers astray. They reveal why some of grammar’s best-known “rules” aren’t–and never were–rules at all. They explain how Brits and Yanks wound up speaking the same language so differently, and why British English isn’t necessarily purer. This playfully witty yet rigorously researched book sets the record straight about bogus word origins, politically correct fictions, phony français, fake acronyms, and more. English is an endlessly entertaining, ever-changing language, and yesterday’s blooper could be tomorrow’s bon mot–or vice versa! Here are some shockers: “They” was once commonly used for both singular and plural, much the way “you” is today. And an eighteenth-century female grammarian, of all people, is largely responsible for the all-purpose “he.” The authors take us wherever myths lurk, from the Queen’s English to street slang, from Miss Grundy’s admonitions to four-letter unmentionables. This eye-opening romp will be the toast of grammarphiles and the salvation of grammarphobes. Take our word for it.
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ISBN:
9781400066605
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 6b96d3db-370d-c004-6a17-764e22f5930f
full_title origins of the specious myths and misconceptions of the english language
author oconner patricia t
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:33AM

Solr Details

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physical xviii, 266 p. ; 21 cm.
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subject_facet English language -- Etymology, English language -- Usage, English language -- Variation
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Origins of the specious : myths, and misconceptions of the English language
title_display Origins of the specious : myths, and misconceptions of the English language
title_full Origins of the specious : myths, and misconceptions of the English language / Patricia T. O'Conner and Stewart Kellerman
title_short Origins of the specious :
title_sort origins of the specious myths, and misconceptions of the english language
title_sub myths, and misconceptions of the English language