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Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson

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Bill Bryson is known for his genial humour accompanied by amusing facts about the subject in his books. His book titled " A short History Of Nearly Everything" was a classic hit which told the story of science in a manner which was far away from boredom. Yesterday I tumbled across another of his books, which I have now come to love- Mother Tongue.

Have you ever wondered why the British spell "colour" as Colour and Americans spell it as Color? Or did you know that you would get better grades in your essays if you were in medieval England because there were no standard spellings for words like there are today? If you are looking for these interesting yet historical facts of languages which are a part and parcel of our everyday routine, then you MUST read this book by Bill Bryson.

Published in the 1990s the book is a testimony to the various stories behind the simplest of words we use everyday. It is anecdotal and full of revelations which will enrapture you the same way any thriller novel would.

I would be doing a disservice if I don't point out the effort the author has put in to garner information from various sources to make this book truly meaningful, humorous, informational and everything in between. It is a perfect blend to make a delicious cocktail for your mind's appetite.

The book predominantly deals with the English language and the perspective of the English speaking world on the various languages of the world which do not fail to enthral us. What would your expression be if I told you William Shakespeare did not have one definite spelling for his surname or that the word counterfeit meant its opposite some hundreds of years previously? The book is filled with such facts which weave a beautiful connection between the history of spelling,grammar and pronunciation of words.

If you are looking for something fun to read and feel a sense of pride to belong to the human race which is endowed with the quality of communication, then get a copy of Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson and I am sure you will be mesmerised by the beauty of language. HAPPY READING!



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