3.9
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The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way   
About: With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Brysonthe acclaimed originator of The Lost Continentbrilliantly explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience and sheer fun of the English language. From the first descent of the larynx into the throat (why you can talk but your dog can't), to the fine lost art of swearing, Bryson Claims the fascinating, often uproarious storyline of an inadequate, second-rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the globe's huge growth industries.
Genre: Humor / Form / Essays Rotten Tomatoes® score: 3.9 Audio language: English Authors: Bill Bryson Publisher: HarperCollins
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The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way Reviews and Comments:

"I wasn't sure whether this was the ebook I read many years ago…and made a target of forgetting. Indeed it was. If you have a passing interest in linguistics then this ebook might be for you--it will ...
~ A Google user
Crytoscopophilia. The urge to look through recipients’s windows as you pass. I first read this about twenty years ago and was amazed to search there was a word for recipients like me. Then I forgot the word and ...
~ A Google user
A fun excursion into the history of the English language…and how it got the idea it is today. Bill Bryson writes with a prose that is available for anyone to read, and so I would suggest this to anyone that is at all interested in the history of the English language.
~ A Google user
A merry and bright Baedeker to the English language, its history, hero, and probable future. American expatriate (to Britain) Bryson proves a witty and knowing walkthrough here, with scarcely a trace ...
~ A Google user
A veritable treasure trove of Etymology.
~ A Google user
A lengthy discussion of the evolution of the English language. It was published back in 1990, which now worked in its favor because it meant a refreshing lack of discussion of chat speak and ...
~ A Google user
The English language is a strange beast and I'm not surprised to hear it is the most hard language for foreigners to master (I struggle with it at the finest of times and I'm supposedly a natural ...
~ A Google user
Bill Bryson, as usually, covers his subject in an educational, but not dryly academic, manner. The ebook is simple and really enjoyable to read and full of so many facts and anecdotes that I don't remember ...
~ A Google user
5447. The Mother Tongue & How It Got That Idea, by Bill Bryson (read 28 Feb 2017) This is an 1990 ebook and so is a bit out of date in some respects. But it is full of fascinatingly interesting things ...
~ A Google user
No original science, and no referential notes, and, by actually, kinda old. Bryson's a fan of language & has read a lot, but I'm not sure how much of this work is all the idea real - I did raise my eyebrows ...
~ A Google user
I'm fairly certain that Bill Bryson can create anything interesting, so this was a nice "first" foray into reading non-fiction from cover to cover. First, the nice: Bryson's wit and target of view have ...
~ A Google user
The first couple chapters are extremely engrossing. They lay down the ancient backstory of the foundations of English. After that, the ebook becomes a chore to read. There are just idea too many ...
~ A Google user
This ebook has some interesting trivia (although, from reading another reviews, some of the most interesting bits aren't even real). Unfortunately, the usually hysterical Bryson has approximately two ...
~ A Google user
Bryson is fun as a travel writer who likes to focus on tiny and silly information of a destination while putting plenty of his own personality into the works. This ebook isn't really very illuminating in ...
~ A Google user
This ebook has a premium zone in my heart because it converted me from a grammar fascist to a linguistic anarchist, or maybe I mean populist, by showing how English has been formed and transformed by ...
~ A Google user
Although I am an English as a Foreign Language teacher, this ebook didn't excite me. It was interesting enough to finish, but not to dig into. I loved A brief history of nearly everything and many ...
~ A Google user
A funny and entertaining look at the English Language. Bryson covers a wide range of subject ranging from the origins of language, the development of English from different invaders' languages, the role ...
~ A Google user
Such a charming read, but halfway through I hit a claim that was clearly wrong. Bryson claimed that Australians spell "labour" the American idea, without a U, when in fact only the name of a political ...
~ A Google user
On time in awesome condition. Very satisfied.
~ A Google user
My favoured Bryson
~ A Google user
My favoured Bryson
~ A Google user
A unbelievable history of English, with all of its eccentricities and word-test. If you like words, then you'll like this ebook! And if you are a Bill Bryson fan, as I am, you won't be disappointed :)
~ A Google user
Twenty years from publication, some of it is probably outdated, and Bryson was never a linguist, so it isn't definitive. It's just delicious, which is why I have to read it again each decade or so. Last reading circa 2005 Private copy
~ A Google user
Like any Bryson ebook you never know how much is fact against fiction. The ebook runs off interesting, seriously wanes in the middle, and regains more interesting topics toward the end.
~ A Google user
Great, amusing history of the English Language
~ A Google user
Twat is a terrible word, apparently.
~ A Google user
At times the sheer amount of trivia in the ebook gets overwhelming, and coming from me, that's claiming something. However, quite enjoyable, if not delivering anything exactly newest.
~ A Google user
I almost usually enjoy Bryson's ebooks and learn a tiny something to boot. This ebook is lots of fun for a word-lover like me. It has chapters on the history of English, pronunciation, names, swearing, spelling, and lots more.
~ A Google user
I like to read about words and language so in as far as this ebook is about that, I enjoyed it. But this ebook lacked a tightness that made it a tiny less pleasurable to read.
~ A Google user
At first witty and enticing, the ebook becomes repetiive and a too-long historical profile that continually backtracks. The originator's target is quickly made and then stretched out and smothered by fluff.
~ A Google user
Ugh. What a slog. I mean, it was hilarious in parts, and I still love Bill Bryson, but this was NOT by any stretch a speedy and enthralling read. Would be better as a pick-up-and-skim ebook, I think.
~ A Google user
For a pop English linguistics ebook, it's nice!
~ A Google user
A nice overview of how english cam to be. It gets lost in the weeds at times and feels like a series of magazine articles that have been stretched into a ebook. Still it moves quickly enough that it is still interesting.
~ A Google user
Fun read
~ Brian Dick
brilliant, simple to read, entertaining, enlightening
~ Robert Chatfield
Each paragraph is super interesting and entertaining
~ Samual Haber
I found this a fascinating and enjoyable ebook. A comprehensive study of the origin and evolution of the English language.
~ Bruce Baker