Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Top ten books on the English language

David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. In 1995, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to the English language. His latest book is The Story of English in 100 Words.

In 2006 Crystal named his top ten books on the English language for the Guardian, including:
Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

No name has come to be more synonymous with "thesaurus" than Roget's. He has even become a common noun: I have "a Roget" on my shelves. Indeed I have a dozen Rogets, as his thesaurus has now appeared in numerous editions, and has been revised, expanded, and abridged more times than any other. It was a truly remarkable work for its period, and anyone who has tried to update it or rework its content (as I have) cannot fail to recognise the enormous labour that went into its compilation. It is the best first source of reference we have for those many occasions when we are dimly aware of the meaning we want to express and are searching for the best word with which to express it.
Read about another entry on Crystal's list.

--Marshal Zeringue