The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution Of Proper English From Shakespeare To South Park Read » eBook PDF or Kindle ePUB

Jack Lynch Ë 7 Review

The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution Of Proper English From Shakespeare To South Park Read » eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB É [Ebook] ➡ The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution Of Proper English From Shakespeare To South Park Author Jack Lynch RIn its long Dilemma The MOBI #240 history the English language has had many The Lexicographer's PDFEPUB or lawmakers those who have tried to regulate or otherwise organize the Lexicographer's Dilemma The eBook #10003 way we speak The Lexicographer's Dilemma poses a pair of uestions Lexicographer's Dilemma The Evolution Of Kindle what does proper E. This book gives an interesting and entertaining account of the major people and events that shaped the lexicographic tools of the English language dictionaries thesauruses and grammars It says little about pronunciation which is uite understandable as the spoken language is worth a book in itselfMuch of the book deals with struggles between descriptivists who just want to describe the language and prescriptivists who want to lay down the correct use of English This essentially class struggle has been going on for centuriesThe book sides with the descriptivists with the proviso that while there is no correct English there are certainly appropriate Englishes depending on the context One would not expect the President of the US to give his inauguration address in Ebonics for exampleThe chapter Expletive Deleted is particularly entertaining with some very funny stories Unfortunately I dare not risk giving examples for fear that censoring algorithms will reject this review completelyThis chapter deals with the battle among dictionary publishers and the public over how or if to treat very naughty words in dictionaries All of the four letter words appear in this chapter together with the rather silly euphemisms employed to disguise the actual words Why write fk instead of well you get the pictureBut even the naughty words change over time and it is difficult for English speakers today to understand the outrage that greeted the use of bloody in Shaw's play Pygmalion Similarly racist words have become a lightning rod for language thought police I would have liked the author to discuss this a bit especially silly attempts to clean up children's books by euphemising racist termsThe book covers all the major lexicographical figures such as Johnson Roget Webster and the 18th century grammarians as well as the major milestones in written English Johnson's dictionary Websters dictionary Roget's Thesaurus and the Oxford English DictionaryHowever it is a pity he omitted any mention of William Chester Minor a surgeon who ultimately contributed a very large number of words to the Oxford English Dictionary After serving as a surgeon in the US Civil War he was eventually confined to Broadmoor insane asylum suffering from paranoid schizophrenia from where he made his contributions to the OED and also cut off his own penis See for details or read The surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester for his biographyI liked the book and I think it is worth the money

Read ✓ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ë Jack Lynch

Nglish mean and who gets to say what's right Our ideas of correct or proper English have a history and today's debates over the state of the language whether about Ebonics in schools the uniue use of language in a South Park episode or split infinitives in the Times make sense only in historical context As historian Jack Lynch has discovered every r. First the disclaimer Jack Lynch and I are not related but we know each other through a common interest in Samuel Johnson a web search on Johnson will uickly get you to both our sites I have been in the acknowledgments in at least one of his books and if I ever get my Johnson anthology published he will be in mineNow the book review The dilemma in the title refers to the lexicographer's choice between being prescriptive providing rules and taking a position of authority and being descriptive describing how the language is used and not taking a position on what you should do It's a false choice and Lynch pretty much acknowledges that early on; not only does he say that the title choice was his publishers but he provides a number of examples where lexicographers have chosen something in betweenIn a largely chronological exploration of the development of dictionaries and language styles Lynch explores the ways lexicographers have hewed to either a prescriptive or descriptive extreme or chosen something in between And although this sounds like a book you might need to blow the dust off that's not true at all the book is closer to a romp A romp you say Yes I do because with each discussion of Horace Dryden Johnson Webster and so on Lynch lays out practical implications of their actions drawing not just on a specific lexicographer's or grammarian's opus but examples in our own languageAnd the so called 'rules' They ain't necessarily so it's not like they came to Moses on a tablet; they were the inventions of studied men and while they had authority at their backs their intentions can be characterized as misguided For example the split infinitive to swiftly run vs to run swiftly Those who said we shouldn't split our infinitives were trying to make English conform to Latin or Greek where the infinitive form is a single word a conjugated one word verb which cannot be split And of course the fact that you can't do it in Latin doesn't mean you can't do it in EnglishAs Lynch brings out issues such as these and the history not just of dictionaries and dictionary publishing yes the marketing department's actions have an impact too Lynch sweetens the pot with all sorts of beguiling discussions and doesn't hesitate to delve into current collouialisms to entertain At one point he even hesitates before his punch line to interject wait for it wait for itIt's a thorough book bringing in even George Carlin and how his list of seven words solidified censors' concepts of what to allow That was a surpriseAnd as for his chapter on Samuel Johnson probably the one chapter where I know the subject well enough to immediately see the choices he made in what and what not to write about he has left out a considerable amount of arcane information in order to keep the story moving The story moves in all the chapters but I presume he cast a sharp eye on omitting similar arcana thereIn short if you're into words and ever wondered about our language and why some of our rules have so many exceptions this is a very informative very entertaining book I strongly recommend it

Summary The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution Of Proper English From Shakespeare To South Park

The Lexicographer's Dilemma The Evolution Of Proper English From Shakespeare To South ParkUle has a human history and the characters who populate his narrative are as interesting for their obsessions as for their erudition Charting the evolution Lexicographer's Dilemma The Evolution Of Kindle of English with wit and intelligence he provides a rich historical perspective that makes us appreciate a new the hard won standards we now enjoy. Jack Lynch's The Lexicographer's Dilemma answers the uestions about language that we all want to ask Where do finicky grammar rules come from Who decides what is proper language What roles do dictionaries play in the shaping of language This book is accessible entertaining and informative – much than a pop linguistics text Lynch's book incorporates the work of serious linguists and provides a rounded historical perspective to help readers understand their language use