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Language History

The Power Of A Great Pun

John Pollack | Posted 06.09.2012 | Books
John Pollack

The deconstruction and recombination of sound, symbol and meaning - the very essence of punning - was the key that enabled people to unlock the potential of written language. Without puns, we would have no alphabet. Without an alphabet, we would have no practical way of writing

The History Of 7 Bizarre English Words

David Crystal | Posted 05.27.2012 | Books
David Crystal

If you can tell the history of the world in 100 objects, as the British Museum's Neil MacGregor did in 2010, then it ought to be possible to tell the history of a language in a similar number. But, as with objects, it isn't enough for each word to be interesting in its own right. It has to tell a story.

QUIZ: Do You Speak American?

| Posted 02.18.2012 | Books

From OUPblog: A wide-ranging account of American English, Richard Bailey’s "Speaking American" investigates the history and continuing evolution ...