Here’s a delight you shouldn’t miss. True, not everyone has an abiding interest in linguistics, but David Crystal’s method of focusing on single and representative words produces fascinating results, and surprising breadth. Words like “able,” “and,” “ain’t,” “alphabet,” and “dude” have their individual history, illustrate some historic feature of language, and mark the development of English from long ago to the present day. As narrator, Crystal sounds like he learned his English in the 1700s, and his distinctly British pronunciation of words like “controversy” stands out in a treatise on language and, at the same time, highlights his underlying themes—that language is arbitrary, whimsical, oftentimes nonsensical, and always changing. Ideal for a commute or a daily round, Crystal’s 100 brisk chapters are uniquely suited for audiobook consumption, rich in pith and humor, and a total treat however consumed. D.A.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine [Published: NOVEMBER 2012]
Trade Ed. AudioGO 2012
CD ISBN 978-1-4458-6519-5 $24.95 Eight CDs
DD ISBN multiple sources
Library Ed. AudioGO 2012
CD ISBN 9780792791546 $64.95 Eight CDs
DD ISBN 9780792791553 $49.95
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