The Lexicographers Dilemma - Jack Lynch

The Lexicographers Dilemma by Jack Lynch offers the first narrative history of those who have tried to regulate, or otherwise organise, the way we speak showing clearly that what we now regard as the only "correct" way to speak emerged out of specific historical and social conditions over the course of centuries. As literary historian Jack Lynch has discovered, every rule has a human history, and the characters peopling his narrative are as interesting for their obsession as for their erudition. The struggle between prescriptivists, who prescribe a correct approach, and descriptivists, who analyse how language works, is at the heart of Lynch's story. From the sharp-tongued satirist Jonathan Swift, who called for a government sponsored academy to issue rulings on the language, and the polymath Samuel Johnson, who put dictionaries on a new footing, to John Horne Tooke, the crackpot linguist whose bizarre theories continue to baffle scholars; Joseph Priestley, whose political radicalism prompted riots; and the ever-crotchety Noah Webster, whose goal was to Americanise the English language--Lynch brings to life a varied cast as illuminating as it is entertaining.

Book Title: 

The Lexicographers Dilemma

Subtitle: 

The Evolution of 'Proper' English, from Shakespeare to South Park

Author: 

Lynch, Jack

Publisher: 

Walker Books

Edition: 

First

Year Published: 

2009

Binding: 

Hard cover

ISBN: 

9780802717009

Pages: 

326

Condition: 

Remaindered, fine

Dimensions: 

21 × 14 × 3 cm

Book Weight: 

0.452 kg

Publisher's Price: 

R475.00

Price: 

ZAR130.00 

In Stock: 

2
Front cover of The Lexicographers Dilemma by Jack Lynch
Back cover of The Lexicographers Dilemma by Jack Lynch