A Mouthful of Air: Language, Languages-- Especially English

Anthony Burgess, Author William Morrow & Company $25 (416p) ISBN 978-0-688-11935-5
Burgess, who invented a teenspeak for the gangs in his novel A Clockwork Orange, infects readers with his love of words in a delightful, wittily urbane romp through the world's languages, in particular ``volatile and hospitable'' English. This is several books in one: a painless primer on linguistics; a survey of tongues from Albanian to Welsh (spoken by King Arthur, a Romanized Celt); the story of alphabets and of language's evolution from prehistoric Indo-European to words like quark ; an exploration of how English became rich and flexible as Old English was transformed into what is spoken and written today. Chapters cover slang and taboo words, great dictionary makers, poetry, the Bible, film dubbing, how Shakespeare spoke his lines. Burgess also offers tips for learning foreign languages and suggestions for secondary-school English teachers. A Mouthful incorporates much of Language Made Plain , published some 30 years ago, but it contains a wealth of new material. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.