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Books About the English Language
The English Language by
In this book, Robert Burchfield takes us on a brief tour of our ever-changing language as he surveys its history and development and assesses its current state. An eloquent guide, Burchfield examines the complexities of English, as well as its amazing resilience and flexibility.
The Lexicographer's Dilemma by
In its long history, the English language has had many lawmakers--those who have tried to regulate or otherwise organize the way we speak. The Lexicographer's Dilemma offers the first narrative history of these endeavors and shows clearly that what we now regard as the only "correct" way to speak emerged out of specific historical and social conditions over the course of centuries.
Watch Your Language!
Watch Your Language! covers a wide array of topics of interest to all aficionados of English, from political doublespeak to spelling, from etymology to puns and wordgames.
Books About Dictionaries
The Professor and the Madman by
The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857, took seventy years to complete, drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds, and organized the sprawling language into 414,825 precise definitions. But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story - a story of two remarkable men whose strange twenty-year relationship lies at the core of this historic undertaking.
The Dictionary Wars by
A compelling history of the national conflicts that resulted from efforts to produce the first definitive American dictionary of English In The Dictionary Wars, Peter Martin recounts the patriotic fervor in the early American republic to produce a definitive national dictionary that would rival Samuel Johnson's 1755 Dictionary of the English Language. But what began as a cultural war of independence from Britain devolved into a battle among lexicographers, authors, scholars, and publishers, all vying for dictionary supremacy and shattering forever the dream of a unified American language.
A Guide to the Oxford English Dictionary by
Donna Lee Berg has provided a fascinating source of general information about the OED as well as a detailed account of the conventions and organization of the dictionary text, specially designed to enhance the reader's enjoyment and understanding of this incomparable work.