Anyone familiar with the work of David Crystal will already know what a prolific author on all questions to do with the English language he is. If a single year doesn't bring at least two new publications, I begin to wonder if he is at last beginning to slow down. So, it was with particular pleasure that I received from my brother-in-law a copy of Crystal's latest - Just a Phrase I'm Going Through: My Life in Language. It is, as the title suggests, an autobiography, a life in which he describes himself as being 'surrounded by an ever playing linguistic orchestra'.
As a writer, Crystal has it all: erudite, witty, humorous and wry - at one point in his book there is a photo of him in 1968 with the caption 'Looking after the data - sorry, children'!
His books span the development of the English language from the arrival of the Germanic tribes fifteen hundred years ago to the multiverse directions the language is taking today.
If you've never read a book by Crystal, you can do no better than to begin with his The Stories of English.