Friday, May 09, 2008

Thieving and promiscuous

Thieving and promiscuous: a description of binge-drinking, ASBO-served British teenagers? No, it's a description of our beloved English language as discussed in this review of a new book called The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English. I'm reading it at the moment and it's an interesting survey of where our vocabulary comes from. Then again, I'm only 15 pages into it, so what do I know?

The review is very useful reading for ENA5 revision, as it gives lots of reminders about processes such as borrowing and coining. As the review of this book points out, English has always been an acquisitive language, trading words (mostly nouns) with foreign countries (often the French, it has to be said) and exporting our language and culture around the world in the process.

Useful for:
ENA5 - Language Change

2 comments:

Dessy said...

firstly, i hardly understood the review. i dunno why journalists, rather than go to the point, will dance around t first.

Secondly, will we be required for question 2 on the ENA6 paper to write a review of anything???

Dan said...

I don't know - it wasn't *that* bad.

And no, you wouldn't be expected to write a review (as far as I'm aware): it's supposed to be an exercise in writing something that's about a language issue, so a review isn't really a valid form for this.