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Bawdy Language, A by Howard Richler

As languages go, English is as impure as they come: rife with borrowings from other languages, contaminated by dialects and slang, tainted by curses, and confused with double meanings, euphemisms, and jargon.

Howard Richler demonstrates in this entertaining book, English’s more slatternly characteristics — its permeability, its inherent chaos, its incredible fertility, its faithlessness — are precisely what have made it the preeminent language of our day.

Besides being richer and more powerful than languages with strict rules and a prescriptive attitude, wanton languages have more fun. The openness and complexity of English make for great wordplay, providing a spawning ground for riddles, anagrams, lipograms, puns and palindromes. A Bawdy Language is a delightful romp through these and other linguistic curiosities; it’s an English lesson you’ll never forget.

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How a Second-rate Language Slept Its Way to the To

English

Non-Fiction

English language

1999

0-7737-3186-5

Stoddart

Toronto

1999

208

hardcover