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 persis�tent issues to do with English and unpacks the history of "proper" us�age. 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 de�tails 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.
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux
October 01, 2011
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Excerpt from The Language Wars by Henry Hitchings
The Language Wars
1 'To boldly go' Truths and myths about English It seems as if no day passes without an argument over the English language and its 'proper' use. We debate the true meanings of words, the nuances of grammar, the acceptability of slang, attitudes to regional accents, resistance to newfangled terms, confusion about apostrophes, the demise of the semicolon.