"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
It is hard to find someone who doesn’t have a pet peeve about language. The
act of bemoaning the decline of language has become something of a cottage
industry. High profile, self-appointed language police worry that new forms
of popular media are contributing to sloppiness, imprecision, and a general
disregard for the rules of grammar and speech. Within linguistics the term
“prescriptivism” is used to refer to the judgments that people make about
language based on the idea that some forms and uses of language are correct
and others incorrect. This book argues that prescriptivism is unfounded at
its very core, and explores why it is, nevertheless, such a popular
position. In doing so it addresses the politics of language: what
prescriptivist positions about language use reveal about power, authority,
and various social prejudices.