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.
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.
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.
Making a Point
The Persnickety Story of English Punctuation
With its unique mixture of logic and eccentricity, English punctuation excites both anxiety and fiercely held opinion. What other area of language has produced an organization such as the Apostrophe Protection Society? With wit, clarity and common sense, this entertaining volume offers both a history of English punctuation from medieval scribes to the internet and a complete guide to how to use it. From the question mark to the semi-colon, the book is packed with both amusing anecdote and sound practical advice.
The Word Detective
A Life in Words: From Serendipity to Selfie
The former chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, John Simpson spent almost four decades immersed in the intricacies of language. His memoir describes the career of a lexicographer who revels in the excitement of historical dictionary work. It is also a celebration of the English language, describing how words come and go; how culture shapes the language we use; and how technology has transformed not only the way we speak and write but also how words are made.
Attica: Intermediate Classical Greek
Readings, Review, and Exercises
Designed to help students who have completed a year’s study of Attic Greek, this textbook combines revision with an introduction to the skills needed to read ancient authors. As well as sentences for translation, the exercises cover identification of word-forms, correct placement of accents and analysis of translation errors. Separate ‘grammar review’ sections use examples found in the 35 reading passages, from Xenophon, Antiphon and Euripides, each of which is furnished with step-by-step explanatory notes.
Intermediate Conversation Course
Designed for all intermediate learners, as well as those following the Michel Thomas method, this conversational course focuses on colloquial language and the conversation strategies used by native Spanish speakers. The ten lessons cover a range of topics and aim to advance overall fluency, expand vocabulary and improve listening comprehension and grammar. The boxed set comprises a text book, one MP3 CD-ROM and one interactive CD-ROM.
The Disappearing Dictionary
A Treasury of Lost English Dialect Words
Professor Crystal’s celebration of English dialects also celebrates the seminal achievement of Joseph Wright and The English Dialect Dictionary (6 volumes, 1898–1903). Crystal has taken 900 of Wright’s words and expressions whose meanings remain relevant today: from abbey-lubber (an idle person) to zwodder (a drowsy, stupid state of mind), he describes their meanings, etymology and usage and, hopefully, gives them a new lease of life. A geographical index follows the A–Z.
The Man Who Deciphered Linear B
The Story of Michael Ventris
In 1952 Michael Ventris, an unassuming young architect, announced ‘I think I’ve deciphered Linear B’ and presented proof that the script on Mycenaean clay tablets preserves an early form of the Greek language. This book traces Ventris’ obsession with Linear B, from his first encounter with the texts at the age of 14 until his tragically early death, and explains each step in his process of decipherment.
A Journey in Search of Language
Why is Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins ‘eleventy-one’ years old? Is Leominster named after lions or nuns? What is the origin of the idiom ‘to face the music’? As one of our foremost experts on the English language, Professor Crystal often finds himself travelling down curious and quirky linguistic side roads. This travelogue follows his explorations of the language’s history through encounters with modern-day speakers across the globe, from Anglesey to Zimbabwe.
Li Livres Dou Tresor
Brunetto Latini (ca 1220–1294) was a prominent figure in Florentine politics during a period of bourgeois rather than princely government. Dating from his exile in France, the ‘Treasure’ is a compilation of texts for people in government, written in the vernacular. The French text is edited and introduced by Spurgeon Baldwin and Paul Barrette.
This accessible introduction to the French language is divided into sections dealing with different subject areas, such as family and home, occupations, food and travel. The lessons are supported by quizzes and exercises as well as side panels pointing out common pitfalls and idioms, and exploring history, culture and the French way of life. References in the book to interactive elements are no longer valid. American spelling. Age 11+
Sign Language among American Indian Nations
A sign language that cut across language barriers played a crucial role among the various Indian nations, and it survives today. This book contains a comprehensive description of the language, from phonology to discourse, and compares it with other sign languages.
Lingo of No Man's Land
A World War I Slang Dictionary
'Gun fire – a term referring to morning tea.' Compiled by a Canadian soldier in 1918, this dictionary of First World War vocabulary ranges from dry officialese ('intense bombardment') to Tommies' vivid slang ('Boche', 'Blighty' and 'over the top'). While some of the terms are now forgotten, many have become so much part of the language that it seems surprising that they ever required explanation: camouflage, crater, grenade and reconnaissance, to name but a few.
An Intimate History
Surveillance of our habits through CCTV and computer spyware has reached epidemic proportions and social media and TV allow us to fully indulge our passion for eavesdropping on other people, an impulse that John Locke argues is hard-wired into our make-up. This study investigates the deep-seated desire to know what's going on in the private lives of others, uncovering the biological drive behind it and its consequences across history and culture, from 16th-century voyeurism to Facebook and Twitter.
A physician, professor of neurology and author, Oliver Sacks (1933–2015) has been described by the New York Times as 'a kind of poet laureate of contemporary medicine'. His books are made up of case histories of his patients, and explore both their neurological disorders and the strategies they adopted to cope with them. In Seeing Voices, a journey into the world of the profoundly deaf, Sacks examines the consequences of living in silence, including the different ways in which the deaf and the hearing learn to categorize and convey the experience of their respective worlds.
Voyage autour du monde
Sur la corvette La Coquille. Tome 1
Aboard La Coquille on its 1822–25 voyage around the world was the surgeon, naturalist, ornithologist and herpetologist Rene Lesson (1794–1849). This first volume of his account of the voyage takes him from Toulon to the Pacific island of Bora Bora. This book is from the Archival Facsimile series of reprints of first or important editions in the British Library. Although published in 1987, this is a new copy. No jacket.
What are the unique characteristics of sign languages and what can they tell us about language more generally? This volume comprises 25 chapters by an international team of scholars, who discuss more than 40 sign languages, old and young, around the world, providing a wealth of linguistic and anthropological information on such topics as the languages’ history and transmission, their grammatical structures and variation both within and between languages.
Paradox and Platitude in Wittgenstein's Philosophy
David Pears provides a concise and readable investigation of five themes at the heart of Wittgenstein's thought: the idea of language as a picture of the world; the phenomenon of linguistic regularity; the famous 'private language' argument; logical necessity; and ego and the self.