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am 17. Dezember 2009
For someone interested in the live, change and "flow" of a language an entertaining book. Without doubt the young author did some research. Finally obviously the storyteller took charge of several chapters (si no è vero, è trovato bene). The German influx into American English is not really precise. Just think about the thousands of German soldiers fighting for the British Crown in the war of independence, most of them staying in New England. As well as the wave of German migration to the northern US at the end of the 19th century. Both have been neglected. A short trip to Nebraska, e.g., will tell you many stories about language ("a sack of groceries" might be handed over to you). Many Asian rooted word's explanation is interesting. But I would not count it as first row experience. So take it with some skepsis.
If you like easy digestable popular science with interesting facettes it is recommendable. If you attended some related University classes, it sounds more like a story book, than the real thing.
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am 8. August 2015
Getting to know you
Getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you
Getting to know what to say
- The King And I - Getting To Know You Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Did you ever wonder how English became English? There are a plethora of books on the word origins, some amusing, and some in depth. But no other book quite as well targets how it got from there to here as Henry Hitchings' descriptions.

Occasionally he appears to be wordy but don't let this fool you. Everything he says leads to a point. And it's the point of why you're reading this book.

One book cannot hold everything. However the author makes a good stab at it here. Just going through the bibliographies and indexes will take quite some time.

I've read books on euphemisms and anachronisms and found them interesting. Yet I never realized how interesting just common words could be. Knowing a little bit of their origin I do strive to say things like children instead of kids. And always wonder what happened to kine?

In any event will find a lot of information packed into a small book. You will wonder how you live so long without knowing this information.

This book is a keeper for your library and you will want to reference it periodically.
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am 2. April 2014
I received an order confirmation in the mail for "The Secret Life of Words", which I sure did not order and -what do you know!- also did not receive on my Kindle....
So if you would please be so kind to re-emburse me for the 10,53 euro that was credited to my credit card, I would be very grateful...
Kind regards, Annemarie Houtenbos
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