Tag Archives: latest read

My Latest Read

The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson

Even if I wasn’t a Professional Writing major and even if I didn’t like learning about languages and cool stuff like that, I would STILL love this book. It’s insane! English, I mean. If you want to be the cool person who knows a shit ton of random facts, try this on for size. In this excerpt, Bryson is talking about the word “set”:

“Superficially it looks a wholly unseeming monosyllable, the verbal equivalent of the single-celled organism. Yet it has 58 uses as a noun, 126 as a verb, and 10 as a participial adjective. Its meanings are so various and scattered that it takes the OED 60,000 words – the length of a short novel – to discuss them all.”

How freaking cool is that? In just the first 71 pages, I’ve learned where English came from, who brought it there, and how words are created. We speak it everyday – it’s pure ignorance to not want to know where it comes from. I read this book while I was on the elliptical and barely paid attention to the time going by…

Call me a loser, but I’m actually really looking forward to Chapter 14. The topic is swear words 🙂

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