Wednesday, July 15, 2009

David Crystal - a diamond geezer!

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.

2 comments:

  1. Great piece! Can't wait to get hold of a copy!

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  2. I heard David speak at Way with Words, the Dartington Literacy Festival on Sunday, relating some of the stories from the new book. The book is an anecdotal memoir of some of his experiences with a linguistic theme, quite different from previous writings. He is an amusing and entertaining speaker, and this book is a useful addition as it brings David, the person, much more alive to his readers. The more we have from David Crystal the better!

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