Friday, November 06, 2009

A Magnificent Give-Away

Brave New Words is pleased to present our first give-away. In order to win a copy of John McWhorter’s book Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post.

In your comment, please recommend a book about a language. Give the name of the book and its author, and write a couple of sentences about why this is a book worth reading.

You do not have to use your real name and you should definitely not post your address, but you do need to include your e-mail address, so I can contact you, and you have to be prepared to give me your real name and your address so I can make sure the book reaches you. Your personal information will not be used for any other reason.

Post your comment by midnight (GMT) on November 9 and I will randomly pick a winner the following day.

Good luck!


pennifer said...

Hmm, a book about a language...

How about Horace Lunt's "Old Church Slavonic Grammar" one of my bibles when I took an OCS graduate seminar back in the day?

Lawyer-Lingust said...

I recommend David Crystal's "Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language".

Covering everything from gender issues to regional variations, this gold mine of information is a definite asset on anyone's bookshelf.

My email is lawyer-linguist (AT) sapo (DOT) pt.

Have a nice weekend

Lawyer-Linguist said...

I recommend David Crystal's "The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language".

Covering everything from gender issues to regional variations, this gold mine of information is a definite asset for anyone's bookshelf.

My email is lawyer-linguist (AT) sapo (DOT) pt.

Have a nice weekend

S. Borei said...

With a library full of books on language with some dating back to the early 1700s it is no easy task to choose just one or even two. So instead of picking an out-and-out reference work, let me recommend one that has given me both insights and pleasure - the latter a somewhat rare commodity for someone who struggles constantly with language.
So for that then, I recommend Karen Elizabeth Gordon's "The Deluxe Transvestite Vampire – the ultimate handbook of grammar for the innocent, the eager and the doomed." It's a wondrous window on the winsome, winning ways of words.

Susan King said...

I grew up in a house filled with books. I don't remember the exact title but I loved browsing through Menken's American Language when I was in Junior High. I didn't understand much of it, but it was fun.

Jaax said...

My bible for paper-writing: The Little, Brown Handbook by H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron.

Nina said...

_In the Land of Invented Languages_ by Akira Okrent discusses non-naturally occuring languages like Esperanto, Klingon, Bliss Symbols (an early communication system for people with disabilities who are nonverbal. This is perhaps an unconventional choice, but I read it some time ago, and found it interesting.

Nina '88

translates said...

I recently bought in France 'Le Pourquoi des Choses' by Anne Pouget. It is a very entertaining read about word origins, expressions and curiosities.

A Argandona said...

One of my favorites is Sin and Syntax, by Constance Hale. She gives the grammar and syntax rules--then tells you how to break them for more effective prose!

Luella Godman said...

I still think "Eats, Roots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss is a winner in terms of presenting idiosyncracies of English punctuation in an entertaining read that appeals to both professional and lay linguists. Its tongue-in-cheek style dares any wannabe writer to flex their punctuation muscles!

My e-mail is avonlea(AT)telia(dot)com.

Stephen said...

Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language by Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker examines a rather narrow topic (irregular and regular verbs) and the cognitive processes behind these verbs. In it, Pinker explores how language is stored, produced, learned, etc.

The book is more technical than his more famous work, The Language Instinct, but for anyone who wants to understand regular and irregular verbs and the many language oddities that come along with these verbs, it is a wonderful read. It will teach you more about language processes than almost any other mainstream book on the market.

Kintzcc (at) gmail (dot) com

Ben Boblis said...

I love Native Tongues by Charles Berlitz. I can read it over and over
and always find something new and interesting. It has a little bit
about a lot. :)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to recommend a fairly new book titled 'The Secret Life of Words' by Henry Hitchings. It's about the 'promiscuous' English language and how it came to have so many words - and synonyms - from over 350 other languages! It's entertainingly written and includes a bit of history too. Lots of interesting tidbits to drop into the dinner conversation!


Mehregan said...

Halliday's An Introduction to Functional Grammar is a quite fruitful book. It is the basis of My M.A. thesis. I found wonderful notions about different languages especially english. I am not an Englisg native speaker but this book took me to the depth of English.

Profadam said...

I would recommend Bill Bryson'a book, "mother tongue" as it is a truly fascinating book about the Development and history of the English Language. I would also recommend "Troublesome Words" by the same author as it highlights interesting uses and misuses of modern English.
My email is:

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner said...

These are great suggestions. Even though we are, of course, a day late and a dollar short for the give-away, we wanted to thank our colleagues for all these recommendations. We also love Lynne Truss' work, even though we thought we'd eventually write that book. :) Judy just ordered both The Language Instinct and the Secret Life of Words from the local Vegas library -- incredible that they carry them (it's not like Vegas is Oxford in terms of intellectual sophistication)....