The Secret Life of Words

The Secret Life of Words

How English Became English

Book - 2008
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Communication is essential to our lives, but how often do we stop to think about where the words we use have come from? Have you ever thought about which words in English have been borrowed from Arabic, French or Dutch? Try admiral, landscape and marmalade just for starters. The Secret Life of Words is a wide-ranging account not only of the history of English, but also of how words witness history, reflect social change and remind us of our turbulent past. Henry Hitchings delves into our promiscuous language and reveals how and why it has absorbed words from more than 350 other languages many originating from the most unlikely of places, such as shampoo from Hindi and kiosk from Turkish.

From the Norman Conquest to the present day, Hitchings narrates the story of English as an archive of our human experience and uncovers the secrets behind everyday words. This is a celebration of our language; after reading it, you will never again take the words we use for granted.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780719564543
0719564549
9780374254100
0374254109
Branch Call Number: 422 HITCHING
Characteristics: 440 pages ; 24 cm.

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