The Language Wars

A History of Proper English by Henry Hitchings

  • Published: Aug 11, 2020

The English language is a battlefield. Since the age of Shakespeare, arguments over correct usage have been bitter, and have always really been about contesting values-morality, politics, and class. The Language Wars examines the present state of the... read more

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Details of The Language Wars

Exact title of the book
The Language Wars
Book author
Henry Hitchings
ISBN
9781429995030
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Oct 25, 2011
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
416
File size (in PDF)
3744 kB

Some brief overview of book

The English language is a battlefield. Since the age of Shakespeare, arguments over correct usage have been bitter, and have always really been about contesting values-morality, politics, and class. The Language Wars examines the present state of the conflict, its history, and its future.

Above all, it uses the past as a way of illuminating the present. Moving chronologically, the book explores the most persistent issues to do with English and unpacks the history of "proper" usage. Where did these ideas spring from?

Who has been on the front lines in the language wars? The Language Wars examines grammar rules, regional accents, swearing, spelling, dictionaries, political correctness, and the role of electronic media in reshaping language. It also takes a look at such details as the split infinitive, elocution, and text messaging.

Peopled with intriguing characters such as Jonathan Swift, Lewis Carroll, and Lenny Bruce, The Language Wars is an essential volume for anyone interested in the state of the English language today or its future.

About author

Hitchings was born in 1974. He is the author of The Secret Life of Words, Who's Afraid of Jane Austen?, and Defining the World. He has contributed to many newspapers and magazines and is the theater critic for the London Evening Standard.

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