The Definitive Compendium
Highlighting the rich diversity of the English language, this dictionary defines thousands of phrases that are commonly used but whose origins may have been lost or altered over the years – ‘knock on wood’, for example, stems from the belief that tapping on a tree trunk would summon a guardian spirit. Less common phrases, such as kew-kaw (upside down) are explained, and literal translations are given for phrases borrowed from other languages.
The Good Citizen's Alphabet
And History of the World in Epitome
A is for Asinine, Z is for Zeal in this alphabet written, with ‘no purpose beyond fun’, by the philosopher by Bertrand Russell. It was originally given to his friends Stefan and Franciszka Themerson as a Christmas present in 1952 and only later published with drawings by Franciszka. Russell’s playful satire on 26 political and rhetorical words is reprinted here, along with his six-line History of the World in Epitome (for use in Martian infant schools) – a title almost as long as the text.
Suitable for complete beginners, this textbook teaches the script, grammar and vocabulary of Classical Sanskrit and is designed to allow students to both read and write the language. Detailed explanations of syntax and usage are provided, and the practice sentences are taken mostly from actual prose texts. Keys to the exercises are included. Revised edition of Teach Yourself Sanskrit.
The Prodigal Tongue
The Love-Hate Relationship Between British and American English
Is it true (as we are often told) that ‘creeping Americanisms’ are ruining our language? As an American linguist working in Britain, Lynne Murphy is well placed to weigh up the evidence and to share examples of misunderstandings. With a combination of humo(u)r and scepticism/skepticism she examines the myths surrounding transatlantic differences, shows that many ‘American’ words and usages have British origins and investigates where the English language is really going.
1000 Words to Expand Your Vocabulary
The more words we have at our command, the more accurately and concisely we can communicate in speaking or writing. To help us on our way, Joseph Piercy presents his personal choice of 1,000 interesting, frequently misused or simply beautiful words from the ‘linguistic maelstrom’ of the English language. He presents them as an A–Z, from Aberrant to Zephyr, with definitions, derivations, commentary on their precise meanings and an example of usage.
The Illustrated Book of Sayings
Curious Expressions from Around the World
The Finnish idiom, ‘to pace around hot porridge like a cat’ is comparable to our ‘to beat around the bush’. Each of the 52 cross-cultural expressions in this collection is accompanied by musings on the origin and meaning – whether literal or metaphorical – and by light-hearted illustrations on the opposite page.
The Stories of Slang
Language at its Most Human
Using his database of 130,000 words and phrases, the lexicographer known as ‘Mr Slang’ explains the origins of some of the most witty, colourful and disreputable expressions in the English language. He takes us into the worlds of boxers, drunken sailors, doctors and lovers, as well as the more literary realms of PG Wodehouse and Shakespeare, that master of the double entendre who is the earliest source for nearly 300 slang terms.
The Music, or Melody and Rhythmus of Language (1818)
James Chapman’s textbook is his ‘synopsis’, with examples from literature and a notation based on music, of Joshua Steele’s Prosodia Rationalis (1775), which argued that English shared the same accidents of speech – accent emphasis, pause, force and quality of sound – as ancient Greek and Latin. Facsimile reprint. No jacket.
For Who the Bell Tolls
One Man's Quest for Grammatical Perfection
Some language rules are worth knowing – but which ‘rules’ just make clear communication harder? The editor of the Guardian’s style guide cites authorities including Shakespeare, Bart Simpson and Kirsty MacColl as he explains the grammatical principles (not ‘principals’) that will help to perfect your writing. He also advises on the correct choice of words and urges us to resist jargon, euphemisms and the journalistic mistreatment of ‘ironic’ and ‘iconic’.
Jedburgh Justice and Kentish Fire
This investigation into the origin of phrases and sayings organizes them into 50 themed lists, each containing ten examples. There are ways of saying ‘dead’ – including ‘bought the farm’ and ‘pushing up daisies’ – and terms that use numbers, such as ‘forty winks’ and ‘dressed to the nines’. The expressions in the title derive from Jedburgh’s reputation for summary executions and the disruptive jeering of public speakers by the people of Kent.
Barron's German-English Dictionary
With around 100,000 entries, this bilingual dictionary contains accurate listings in German–English and English–German vocabulary, using American-style English. Each entry has the headword or phrase in bold type, with translation, parts of speech and pronunciation (for both German and English). A reference section has brief grammars of both languages and bilingual lists of prefixes, irregular verbs, numerals, geographical names etc. The purchased dictionary is available to download. With thumb index and plastic covers
Clerks, Wives and Historians
Essays on Medieval English Language and Literature
This collection of ten Studientage Englisches Mittelalter (SEM) essays in medieval English literature includes studies of monsters in Spenser’s Faerie Queene; treachery in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; Piers Plowman; and tensions between Chaucer’s Wife of Bath and the Clerk. English text.
Word for Word
A Translator's Memoir of Literature, Politics, and Survival in Soviet Russia
A Russian Jew, who lived in Germany, France and Palestine before her family settled in the USSR in 1933, Lilianna Lungina (1920–1998) became a celebrated literary translator, introducing Russian readers to the work of writers including Knut Hamsun, Heinrich Böll, Colette and Ibsen. Lilya lived through some of the most harrowing events of the 20th century, yet her memoir, as told to Oleg Dorman and illustrated with personal photographs, shows how misfortune can lead to ‘surprising and improbable happiness and richness’.
Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing
Encounters with the Mysteries and Meanings of Language
Daniel Tammet, author of the bestselling memoir Born on a Blue Day, here draws on his own experiences as an autistic person and a polyglot to explore what the intricacies and oddities of human language can teach us about ourselves. His 15 essays cover such topics as the art of translation, sign languages, the music and patterns of words, the grammar of telephone conversations and the rules that prescribe acceptable Icelandic names. Slightly off-mint.
An Intermediate Course
This textbook is designed to guide students progressing from basic grammatical study to the reading of passages by ancient Roman authors. Informed by Corrigan’s long experience of teaching intermediate-level classes, the book combines a thorough review of morphology and grammar with exercises on common constructions and a generous selection of poetry and prose. The texts, from such authors as Petronius, Gellius, Phaedrus and Martial, are followed by questions to test understanding and to prompt discussion of Roman literature and culture.
Ware's Victorian Dictionary of Slang and Phrase
A goldmine for anyone intrigued by the weird and wonderful usages of slang, Ware’s 1909 compilation of ‘Passing English’ is introduced by John Simpson, former Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, who describes it as full of expressions ‘that might never find their way into more straitlaced dictionaries’. As well as words and phrases dating from the late 19th century, including slang from different occupations, sports, countries and ‘street’, Ware explains new idioms such as cads on castors (bicyclists) and the American brownstone fronts (aristocrats).
*A Visual Exploration of Punctuation Marks and Other Typographic Symbols
From simple commas to the complexities of en and em dashes and the meteoric rise of the hashtag, this engrossing little book tells the stories of symbols and punctuation marks, explains their roles in written and digital communication, and gives up to 20 examples of each glyph’s appearance in various fonts.