If you love the mysteries of the English language as much as we do, then you’re going to love this episode of Book Drops. Get ready to add to your reading list. Reggie from Lending joins Don to share some of their recommended reads for linguists.
How to Speak Brit by C.J. Moore
The quintessential A to Z guide to British English–perfect for every egghead and bluestocking looking to conquer the language barrier
Oscar Wilde once said the Brits have “everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.”
Any visitor to Old Blighty can sympathize with Mr. Wilde. After all, even fluent English speakers can be at sixes and sevens when told to pick up the “dog and bone” or “head to the loo,” so they can “spend a penny.” Wherever did these peculiar expressions come from?
Speaking American – How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk by Josh Katz
From the creator of the New York Times dialect quiz that ignited conversations about how and why we say the words we say, a stunning and delightful exploration of American language.
Did you know that your answers to just a handful of questions can reveal where you grew up? In December 2013, Josh Katz released an interactive dialect quiz in the New York Times that became the most viewed page in the paper’s history. Now a graphics editor, Katz harnessed the overwhelming response to that quiz to create Speaking American, an extraordinary and beautiful tour through the American vernacular.
Dictionary of American Regional English by Frederic G. Cassidy
How do Americans really talk?what are their hometown, everyday expressions in the many regions and sections of this huge country? The Dictionary of American Regional English ( DARE ), twenty years in preparation, answers these questions. It gives visible proof of the diversity?and the vitality?of American folk language, past and present.
Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don’t Rhyme―And Other Oddities of the English Language by Arika Okrent
Maybe you’ve been speaking English all your life, or maybe you learned it later on. But whether you use it just well enough to get your daily business done, or you’re an expert with a red pen who never omits a comma or misplaces a modifier, you must have noticed that there are some things about this language that are just weird.
The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind’s Greatest Invention by Guy Deutscher
Language is mankind’s greatest invention-except, of course, that it was never invented.” So begins linguist Guy Deutscher’s enthralling investigation into the genesis and evolution of language. If we started off with rudimentary utterances on the level of “man throw spear,” how did we end up with sophisticated grammars, enormous vocabularies, and intricately nuanced degrees of meaning?