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Spell it Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling by David Crystal at Abbey's Bookshop,

Spell it Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling

David Crystal


9781846685682

Profile


Language: history & general works;
linguistics


Paperback

224 pages

$21.99
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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 ears, and it stuck. Seventy-five per cent of English spelling is regular but twenty-five per cent is complicated, and in Spell It Out our foremost linguistics expert David Crystal extends a helping hand to the confused and curious alike. He unearths the stories behind the rogue words that confound us, and explains why these peculiarities entered the mainstream, in an epic journey taking in sixth century monks, French and Latin upstarts, the Industrial Revolution and the internet. By learning the history and the principles, Crystal shows how the spellings that break all the rules become easier to get right.

By:   David Crystal
Imprint:   Profile
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   281g
ISBN:   9781846685682
ISBN 10:   1846685680
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   October 2013
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has written many books and articles in fields ranging from forensic linguistics and ELT to the liturgy and Shakespeare. He is the author of The Story of English in 100 Words [9781846684272], published by Profile, and his Stories of English is a Penguin Classic.


'Entertaining... Crystal's many examples show that the development of English spelling is as random, unsystematic and anomalous as the British constitution. English spelling is as rich a mixture of anachronism, privilege and fashion as the House of Lords' (Sundary Times) 'A prolific author...he can write with authority on trends in the spelling of rhubarb and indeed on the history of the spelling of any tricky word you care to mention. For him, the patterns are clear... highly entertaining.' (Observer) 'Spectacular' (Readers Digest) 'A prolific author...highly entertaining to read' (Observer)

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