I found this a bit of a strange book from Bryson as I expected a funny book full of amusing stories, and this is more of a text book. But it is really, really good. I loved it. The book is all about the history, formation, meanings, and apparent inconsistencies (charmingly) of the English language.

I was lent the book by a friend and when I realised it wasn’t his usual thing, I thought I’d read the first couple of chapters out of politeness to my friend and return it to her, but I wasn’t able to stop reading it. He writes in such an interesting and absorbing way. Every single line and sentence is fascinating, there are no ‘fillers’ to pad it out. And he is obviously so passionate about the subject, which made the book very entertaining. Considering it is more of a text book, it is a great read.

And it is amusing in it’s own way, I found myself chuckling at the idiosyncrasies in our language – you realise just how illogical many things in English are. I loved the chapters on names, surnames and place names – that really brought it home to me how eccentric we can be. But I also enjoyed learning all about the history of our language, and was surprised at the origin of many of our words and the mix of races that have gone into the make-up of our language.

Highly recommended. It might seem a bit unusual a book at first, but persevere and I’m sure you’ll read right to the end and really enjoy it.




'More than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to...'Only Bill Bryson could make a book about the English language so entertaining. With his boundless enthusiasm and restless eye for the absurd, this is his astonishing tour of English. From its mongrel origins to its status as the world's most-spoken tongue; its apparent simplicity to its deceptive complexity; its vibrant swearing to its uncertain spelling and pronunciation, Bryson covers all this as well as the many curious eccentricities that make it as maddening to learn as it is flexible to use.Bill Bryson's classic Mother Tongue is a highly readable and hilarious tale of how English came to be the world's language.This paperback book has 288 pages and measures: 20.9 x 13.9 x 1.9cm.
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