MP3 Audio Sample
The author of Reading the OED presents an eye-opening look at language "mistakes" and how they came to be accepted as correct—or not.
English is a glorious mess of a language, cobbled together from a wide variety of sources and syntaxes, and changing over time with popular usage. Many of the words and usages we embrace as standard and correct today were at first considered slang, impolite, or just plain wrong.
Whether you consider yourself a stickler, a nitpicker, or a rule-breaker in the know, Bad English is sure to enlighten, enrage, and perhaps even inspire. Filled with historic and contemporary examples, the book chronicles the long and entertaining history of language mistakes, and features some of our most common words and phrases, including decimate, hopefully, enormity, that vs. which, enervate vs. energize, bemuse vs. amuse, literally vs. figuratively, ain't, irregardless, socialist, OMG, and stupider.
Lively, funny, and surprising, this is a book that will settle arguments among word lovers—and it's sure to start a few, too.
Running time 7 hrs 21 min