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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling

Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling

5 Ratings: 2.6
A book by David Wolman

“An engaging ramble through our orthographic thickets” (Boston Globe )    “Sprightly history that sensibly balances the merits of standardization against the forces for freedom.” (Kirkus Reviews )    Th … see full wiki

Author: David Wolman
Publisher: Smithsonian
5 reviews about Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English...
review by . December 23, 2008
Interesting insights into why and how we spell continues my recent thread on English (and specifically American) language    The American Language-4th Editin  Websterisms: A Collection of Words and Definitions Set Forth by the Founding Father of American English    Wolman takes off from a position of a spelling-challenged student to tour the roots of English orthography (the study of spelling) in this light extended magazine piece. He starts at several …
review by . August 29, 2008
Wolman writes with passion about the history of the English language, the effects of printing and even of particular printers, of the quest for dictionaries, and about spelling reform movements. Those who are interested in history will enjoy it, and the idea of traveling to see significant locales in the history of spelling, as Wolman did, is an intriguing one. If you've wondered whatever possessed anyone to write "ghost" and why traveler and traveller seem equally likely, this is the book that …
review by . August 05, 2008
I really enjoy reading books that not only inform me, but entertain me as well. This book is one of that type. It contains a brief history of how the English language came to be the oddball collection of spelling that we know today. Also, it chronicles the many efforts through the centuries to "simplify" the spelling, or at least make it consistent. The conclusion is that it can't really be done, but the author believes that the generation growing up with e-mail and text messaging may have some …
review by . August 01, 2008
This small book (I read it in a few hours) is a personal and sometimes funny look at, as Bill Bryson put it, "English and how it got that way." It's a decent survey of the history and some of the issues involved in English orthography, and if not exactly full of original insights, pulls together bits of linguistics, neurological science, theories of child development, and the history of dictionaries, printing, and publishing into one package that's unlike anything else I've come across in the field. …
review by . July 29, 2008
The Inglish langwage iz a mes. Anywun who has tryed to lern to spel it nos this. This buk provides a solid analisis of how this situashun came to be. Yew will reed all abowt the histori that got us into the mes we are in now.    And that's enough of that!    Anyhow, this is a pretty good read! You'll get quite a lot of the history and literature in the English language that got us into the sorry state of spelling we're in now, as well as look as the present …
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