I love all the idiosyncrasies of the English language. Why do words like “there”, “their” and “they’re” sound the same but mean different things though a word like “read” can be said in two different ways depending on it’s context? What is all that about? Why does the English syntax work in the opposite direction to all other European languages?
So I’d like share with you a couple of little gems that came my way recently.
Firstly, is a lecture series on the Structure of English. Okay, sounds like good listening for insomniacs, but the lectures are free as podcasts, are enhanced so you can also see the lectures original slide-show and as the wonderful people at diyscholar says, the lecturer
The second, is a book that has currently been short-listed for the CBC Book Week Eve Pownall Information Book Award. Word Spy by Ursula Dubosarsky is at the other end of the etymology scale being for children but it’s full of fascinating facts, puzzles and picture games that like the above lecture for adults, may well get kids hooked on the joys of English.
The language of Shakespeare, a language of more than 1,000,000 words, the fastest growing language in the world needs to be celebrated. I’m glad there are such fascinating tools to inspire wordsmiths of all ages.