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Most popular Language: history & general works books

The most popular Language: history & general works books currently available. Updated weekly.
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Title
Description
1
Word for Every Day of the Year
A weird and wonderful word and its meaning for every day of the year.
2
Signs of Civilisation: How punctuation changed history
Signs of Civilisation provides an account of the rich cultural history of punctuation.
3
Bad Words: And What They Say About Us
Snowflake, elite, expert . . . What are today's 'bad words' and what do they say about us, both as individuals and as a society?
4
Long Live Latin: The Pleasures of a Useless Language
5
Poems from the Edge of Extinction: The Beautiful New Treasury of Poetry in Endangered Languages, in Association with the National Poetry Library
According to Unesco, of the 7,000 languages spoken in the world, more than half are endangered, with one disappearing every two weeks. This collection of 50 poems celebrates and preserves these unique voices and takes the reader on a global journey of discovery.
6
Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language
7
Now You're Talking: Human Conversation from the Neanderthals to Artificial Intelligence
`A lively, intelligent and persuasive history of speech...Expertly and patiently explained' The TimesWhy are human beings the only animals that can speak? We judge others - and whether we trust them - not just by their words but by the way they talk: their intonation, their pitch, their accent.
8
Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase
Mark Forsyth's 'sparkling' (Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph) and idiosyncratically brilliant third book.
9
Talk on the Wild Side: Why Language Won't Do As It's Told
10
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words
Did you know that the Japanese have a word to express the way sunlight filters through the leaves of trees?
11
Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language
An essential text for a new generation of twenty-first-century English language enthusiasts, its dual purpose as both a reference and textbook will appeal to English language lecturers and students as well as non-native English speakers. Audio resources recorded by David Crystal for this new edition bring the text to life.
12
Little Book of Language
From the first words of an infant to the peculiar modern dialect of text messaging, this book reveals language's myriad intricacies and quirks. It sheds light on the development of unique linguistic styles, the origins of obscure accents, and the search for the first written word.
13
History of the English Language
14
Around the World in 80 Words: A Journey Through the English Language
For armchair travellers and language nerds: the surprising stories behind places that have become words.
15
Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins
An accessible, lively A-Z of over 3,000 words and their origins, drawn from Oxford's unrivalled dictionary research and language monitoring. Ideal for language lovers and students alike, the Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins relates the fascinating stories behind many of our most curious words and expressions.
16
Babel: Adventures in Translation
This innovative and lavishly illustrated collection of essays shows how linguistic diversity has inspired people across time and cultures to embark on adventurous journeys through the translation of texts. From papyrus fragments to Asterix cartoons, it explores how ideas have travelled via the medium of translation.
17
Ultimate Cockney Geezer's Guide to Rhyming Slang
Over a hundred years after it was first heard on the streets of Ye Olde London Towne, Cockney rhyming slang is still going strong, and this book contains the most comprehensive and entertaining guide yet.
18
Mrs Moreau's Warbler: How Birds Got Their Names
Through fascinating encounters with birds, and the rich cast of characters who came up with their names, Moss takes readers on a remarkable journey through time. From when humans and birds first shared the Earth to their fraught present-day coexistence, he shows how these names reveal as much about people and their relationship with the natural world as about the creatures they describe.
19
English - One Tongue, Many Voices
This is the fully revised and expanded second edition of English - One Tongue, Many Voices, a book by three internationally distinguished English language scholars who tell the fascinating, improbable saga of English in time and space.
20
In Other Words: An Illustrated Miscellany of the World's Most Intriguing Words and Phrases
21
Fabulosa!: The Story of Polari, Britain's Secret Gay Language
Paul Baker recounts the story of Polari with skill, erudition and tenderness.
22
Cows on Ice & Owls in the Bog: The Weird and Wonderful World of Scandinavian Sayings
Explore the strange world of hilarious Scandinavian sayings with this gorgeous illustrated book
23
Business Bullshit
24
Bagels, Bumf, and Buses: A Day in the Life of the English Language
This book explores the fascinating origins of the words and phrases that we use every day. Simon Horobin takes the reader through a typical day's activities - waking up, eating meals, going to work - and looks at the etymology of the words we use to describe them, as well as how their meanings have changed over time.
25
Life of Guy: Guy Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot, and the Unlikely History of an Indispensable Word
26
Don't Believe A Word: The Surprising Truth About Language
A mind-boggling journey through the phenomenon of language, busting nine common myths about humanity's greatest achievement
27
Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs
This unique and thoroughly revised collection contains over 1,100 of the most widely used proverbs in English, drawing on the resources of the Oxford Languages team for the most up-to-date research. Lively and compelling, it is filled with favourites - old and new - with a strong emphasis on meanings of proverbs catalogued.
28
Words That Go Ping: The ridiculously wonderful world of onomatopoeia
Barbara Lasserre brings the neglected world of onomatopoeia to life in this witty little gem of a book which will delight language lovers.
29
Meaning of Liff: The Original Dictionary Of Things There Should Be Words For
Douglas Adams and John Lloyd's classic humour book, revised and updated and including The Deeper Meaning of Liff.
30
Languages: A Very Short Introduction
How many languages are there? What differentiates one language from another? Are new languages still being discovered? Why are so many languages disappearing? These are some of the questions considered in this Very Short Introduction. By examining the science of languages, we find that the answers are not as simple as we might expect.
31
Mapping Applied Linguistics: A Guide for Students and Practitioners
32
Craic Baby: Dispatches from a Rising Language
The follow-up to Motherfocloir, exploring the Irish language, both the very old and the very new. Craic Baby hinges on how watching a child learn to communicate changes how you think about language.
33
Irish Proverbs & Sayings
Irish history and folklore is rich with proverbs and sayings of old, full of timeless wisdom that still has resonence and truth today. This beautifully designed hardback brings together a whole host of these sayings and proverbs on topics as diverse as aging, the seasons, fate and nature.
34
Story of English
The Story of English is the extraordinary tale of the origins and development of the English language. Two thousand years ago English was confined to a handful of savage tribes on the shores of north-west Europe; More widely scattered, written and spoken than any other language in history, English has become a global phenomenon.
35
Last Lingua Franca: The Rise and Fall of World Languages
In the twenty-first century, can we really take the dominance of English for granted? In their time, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Sanskrit and Persian have each been world languages, sweeping the globe for centuries at a time. This title explores the rise of a linguistic diversity we could never before have imagined.
36
Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar
This book is an accessible and authoritative A-Z that provides up-to-date definitions of over 1,600 current grammatical terms, with hundreds of useful example sentences and helpful quotations from the scholarly literature. An invaluable guide to all those interested in the English language.
37
Real McCoy and 149 other Eponyms
Encompassing eponyms from medicine, botany, invention, science, fashion, food and literature, this book uncovers the intriguing tales of discovery, mythology, innovation and infamy behind the eponyms we use every day. The perfect addition to any wordsmith's bookshelf.
38
English Language: A Very Short Introduction
How has the English language evolved into the version we know today? How will it develop in future? Is it changing for the better or the worse? Simon Horobin's entertaining Very Short Introduction engages with these often heated debates, giving the historical and linguistic framework which will enable well informed discussion.
39
Dictionary Wars: The American Fight over the English Language
40
Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language
Presenting a tour of English from its mongrel origins to its status as the world's most-spoken tongue; its apparent simplicity to its deceptive complexity; its vibrant swearing to its uncertain spelling and pronunciation, this book covers curious eccentricities that make it as maddening to learn and as flexible to use.
41
All About Scouse
This is a book about Scouse, the language of Liverpool and how it evolved. It goes back to early times looking at the different groups of people who have contributed to Liverpool's rich speech and culture and examines the features that make Scouse so unique.
42
Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
The creation of the first Oxford English Dictionary was an extraordinary endeavour, lasting over 70 years. In The Professor and the Madman, Simon Winchester recounted one fascinating episode; in The Meaning of Everything, he tells the whole story of the host of characters who carried out 'the greatest enterprise of its kind in history'.
43
Through the Language Glass: Why The World Looks Different In Other Languages
"Guy Deutscher is that rare beast, an academic who talks good sense about linguistics... Observer*Does language reflect the culture of a society? A delightful amalgam of cultural history and popular science, this book explores some of the most fascinating and controversial questions about language, culture and the human mind.
44
Spell It Out: The singular story of English spelling
Why is there an 'h' in ghost? William Caxton, inventor of the printing press and his Flemish employees are to blame: without a dictionary or style guide to hand in fifteenth century Bruges, the typesetters simply spelled it the way it sounded to their foreign cars, and it stuck. This book takes you on a journey through English spelling.
45
Lingo: A Language Spotter's Guide to Europe
46
Wonderful World of Words
From information about words and their uses, useful lists of things you never knew had names, palindromes, famous lines from literature and film, to bizarre test answers and much, much more, The Wonderful World of Words is bursting with truly oddball facts about words and language - and will have you hooked from the very first page.
47
Emergence and Development of English: An Introduction
A step-by-step introduction to the history of the English language that teaches both students and instructors about complex systems, the scientific model behind human speech. This easy-to-follow text includes chapter openers, key terms, chapter summaries and end-of-chapter exercises, as well as online resources and audio samples.
48
Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society
Raymond Williams' seminal exploration of the history of meaning of some of the most important words in the English language.
49
I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How It Shapes the Way We See the World
Takes readers from Aristotle's investigation of metaphor right up to the neuroscientific insights into how metaphor works in the brain. This title explores how a life without metaphor, as experienced by some people with autism spectrum disorders, significantly changes the way a person interacts with the world.
50
Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education
This book addresses how the new linguistic concept of 'Translanguaging' has contributed to our understandings of language, bilingualism and education, with potential to transform not only semiotic systems and speaker subjectivities, but also social structures.