That's The Way It Crumbles: The American Conquest of the English Language (Hardback)Matthew Engel (author)
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Have we noticed the sly interpolation of Americanisms into our everyday speech? You betcha. And are we outraged? Hell, yes.
But do we do anything? Too much hassle.
In That's The Way It Crumbles Matthew Engel presents a call to arms against the linguistic impoverishment that happens when one language dominates another. With dismay and wry amusement, he traces the American invasion of our language from the early days of the New World, via the influence of Edison, the dance hall and the talkies, right up to the Apple and Microsoft-dominated present day, and explores the fate of other languages trying to fend off linguistic takeover bids.
It is not the Americans' fault, more the result of their talent for innovation and our own indifference. He explains how America's cultural supremacy affects British gestures, celebrations and way of life, and how every paragraph and conversation includes words the British no longer even think of as Americanisms. Part battle cry, part love song, part elegy, this book celebrates the strange, the banal, the precious and the endangered parts of our uncommon common language.
'[An] acerbically witty and entertaining survey of the way that British becomes increasingly Americanised…" - The Sunday Times
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 470 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 28 mm
One of journalism's great exponents of English English. -- Peter Preston * Guardian *
Throughout his entertaining history, Engel argues for a stout forward defence against this onslaught of "cool" and "fun" and "you guys". -- Tim Adams * The Guardian *
Highly entertaining. * Spectator *
Engel [hunts] down his prey like a linguistic witchfinder-general ... short-tempered but consistently witty. -- John Sutherland * New Statesman *
Praise for Engel's England: 'Wry, rueful, funny, packed with knowledge, and, like all good reporting, entirely personal and subjective, it is simply the most enjoyable commentary on today's England that could be imagined. * Sunday Times *
Highly personal and very funny * London Review of Books *
The great pleasure in the book - for Engel as much as the reader - is in his love of the entertaining factual nugget * Financial Times *
Engel has the perfect light, humorous touch for the task. * New Statesman *
Immensely enjoyable... Engel is a wonderfully wry comic writer. * The Guardian *