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

Getting the Word Out 2022

WOTY (Word of the Year) Season is in full swing and the lists from the various dictionaries and organisations who produce them, along with t...