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The Prodigal Tongue Dispatches from the Future of English

by Mark Abley

The Prodigal Tongue Dispatches from the Future of English Synopsis

Mark Abley takes the reader on a world-wide trip like no other - from Singapore to Japan, Oxford to Los Angeles, through the web and even back in time. As much a travel book as a linguistic study, this book goes beyond grammar and vocabulary; more importantly, this book is about the people of the world. On his travels Abley encounters bloggers, translators, novelists, therapists, dictionary makers, hip-hop performers and web-savvy teenagers. He talks to a married couple who were passionately corresponding online before they met in 'meatspace.' And he listens to teenagers, puzzling out the words they coin in chat rooms and virtual worlds. Lively, evocative, passionate and hilarious, this is a book for everyone who cherishes the words we use.

The Prodigal Tongue Dispatches from the Future of English Press Reviews

[A] fascinating account of developing English. * The Times * In The Prodigal Tongue, Mark Abley investigates the deep flux in contemporary English... Attuned to pop culture as well as to scholarship...it stylishly covers a large amount of ground, from Lee Kuan Yew to YouTube, via Spike Lee and Ice Cube... Joyous - a paean to the dynamic energies of English. * Telegraph * The Prodigal Tongue takes the reader on an informative and frequently entertaining journey. * Edmonton Journal * [A] witty and well-documented treatise on the ways -- some of them alarming -- in which the English language is changing * Winnipeg Free Press * As a poet, journalist, editor, intrepid traveller, scholar and endlessly curious spirit, Abley brings an appropriately eclectic perspective to the subject. ... Writing as an inquisitive, bemused Everyman, Abley leads us on a lively intellectual journey through uncharted territory, his comfort in the zone of ambiguity making him the ideal travel guide * The Gazette *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780099484462
Publication date: 5th February 2009
Author: Mark Abley
Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 272 pages
Categories: linguistics,

About Mark Abley

Mark Abley, a winner of Canada's National Newspaper Award, has written for the TLS, the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Montreal Gazette, and other publications. He is the author of one other book on language - the unanimously acclaimed Spoken Here. He speaks English, French, and a little Welsh.

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