Bad English

A History of Linguistic Aggravation

By Ammon Shea
(Perigee Books, Hardcover, 9780399165573, 255pp.)

Publication Date: June 3, 2014

List Price: $24.00*
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Description
The author of "Reading the OED" presents an eye-opening look at language "mistakes" and how they came to be accepted as correct--or not.
English is a glorious mess of a language, cobbled together from a wide variety of sources and syntaxes, and changing over time with popular usage. Many of the words and usages we embrace as standard and correct today were at first considered slang, impolite, or just plain wrong.
Whether you consider yourself a stickler, a nitpicker, or a rule-breaker in the know, Bad English is sure to enlighten, enrage, and perhaps even inspire. Filled with historic and contemporary examples, the book chronicles the long and entertaining history of language mistakes, and features some of our most common words and phrases, including:
Decimate
Hopefully
Enormity
That/which
Enervate/energize
Bemuse/amuse
Literally/figuratively
Ain't Irregardless
Socialist
OMG
Stupider
Lively, surprising, funny, and delightfully readable, this is a book that will settle arguments among word lovers--and it's sure to start a few, too.



About the Author
Ammon Shea is the author of two previous books on obscure words, Depraved English and Insulting English (written with Peter Novobatzky). He read his first dictionary, Merriam Webster's Second International, ten years ago, and followed it up with the sequel, Webster's Third International.


NPR
Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014

A new book looks at words that self-appointed linguistic police have declared contraband, like "lunch," which should be a verb, and "balding," a participle formed from an adjective instead of a verb. More at NPR.org

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