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Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language

by

Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Do you cringe when a talking head pronounces “niche” as NITCH? Do you get bent out of shape when your teenager begins a sentence with “and”? Do you think British spellings are more “civilised” than the American versions? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’re myth-informed. 

    In Origins of the Specious, word mavens Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman reveal why some of grammar’s best-known “rules” aren’t—and never were—rules at all. This playfully witty, rigorously researched book sets the record straight about bogus word origins, politically correct fictions, phony français, fake acronyms, and more. Here are some shockers: “They” was once commonly used for both singular and plural, much the way “you” is today. And an eighteenth-century female grammarian, of all people, is largely responsible for the all-purpose “he.” From the Queen’s English to street slang, this eye-opening romp will be the toast of grammarphiles and the salvation of grammarphobes. Take our word for it.

Synopsis:

US

About the Author

Patricia T. OConner, a former editor at The New York Times Book Review, has written four books on language and writing-the bestselling Woe Is I: The Grammarphobes Guide to Better English in Plain English; Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing; Woe Is I Jr.: The Younger Grammarphobes Guide to Better English in Plain English; and You Send Me: Getting It Right When You Write Online.

Stewart Kellerman has been an editor at The New York Times and a foreign correspondent for UPI in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. He co-authored You Send Me with his wife, Patricia T. OConner, and he runs their website and blog at grammarphobia.com. They live in rural Connecticut.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812978100
Author:
Oconner, Patricia T
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Author:
Kellerman, Stewart
Author:
O'Conner, Patricia T.
Subject:
Reference
Subject:
Linguistics - General
Subject:
Reference-Etymology
Subject:
language;grammar;non-fiction;etymology;english;words
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.10x5.24x.65 in. .47 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
Reference » Etymology
Reference » Grammar and Style
Reference » Words on Words
Young Adult » General

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