Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don't Rhyme-And Other Oddities of the English Language (Hardback)
  • Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don't Rhyme-And Other Oddities of the English Language (Hardback)
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Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don't Rhyme-And Other Oddities of the English Language (Hardback)

(author), (illustrator)
£14.99
Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 11/11/2021
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Maybe you've been speaking English all your life, or maybe you learned it later on. But whether you use it just well enough to get your daily business done, or you're an expert with a red pen who never omits a comma or misplaces a modifier, you must have noticed that there are some things about this language that are just weird. Perhaps you're reading a book and stop to puzzle over absurd spelling rules (Why are there so many ways to say '-gh'?), or you hear someone talking and get stuck on an expression (Why do we say "How dare you" but not "How try you"?), or your kid quizzes you on homework (Why is it "eleven and twelve" instead of "oneteen and twoteen"?). Suddenly you ask yourself, "Wait, why do we do it this way?" You think about it, try to explain it, and keep running into walls. It doesn't conform to logic. It doesn't work the way you'd expect it to. There doesn't seem to be any rule at all. There might not be a logical explanation, but there will be an explanation, and this book is here to help. In Highly Irregular, Arika Okrent answers these questions and many more. Along the way she tells the story of the many influences-from invading French armies to stubborn Flemish printers-that made our language the way it is today. Both an entertaining send-up of linguistic oddities and a deeply researched history of English, Highly Irregular is essential reading for anyone who has paused to wonder about our marvelous mess of a language.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780197539408
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 218 x 149 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
I love everything about this book. Arika Okrent is insightful, funny, and answers questions you didn't even know you had! * Mignon Fogarty, author of Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing *
Arika Okrent is the best at taking oft-repeated stories about English and pushing them a step deeper. If you buy one 'fun facts about English' book, make it this one. Lively explanations from Okrent plus charming drawings by O'Neill make for a highly engaging book perfect for answering your (or your kid's) questions about the oddities of the English language. * Gretchen McCulloch, author of Because Internet and host of Lingthusiasm *
Don't let the joy of reading these stories fool you. Arika Okrent brings real intellectual heft to researching them. As you find yourself eagerly passing them on, you'll realize how much serious stuff about language you've learned too. * Lane Greene, author of Talk on the Wild Side and You Are What You Speak *
Arika Okrent has done the magic trick of compiling the kinds of questions the general public actually asks about language, instead of the kinds of questions we linguists would LIKE the public to ask. Everybody-including many linguists!-will feast on every page. * John McWhorter, Professor of Linguistics at Columbia University, host of the language podcast Lexicon Valley, and Contributing Editor at The Atlantic *
[A] learned and captivating study of how the weirdness of our language unfolded....[Okrent] wields sharp and powerful tools that satisfyingly scratch our linguaphilic itch. * Michael M. Rosen, National Review *

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