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Download The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins, by The Great Courses
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: The Great Courses Narrator: Professor Anne Curzan Publisher: The Great Courses Format: Original Staging Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From new words such as bling and email to the role of text messaging and other electronic communications, English is changing all around us. Discover the secrets behind the words in our everyday lexicon with this delightful, informative survey of English, from its Germanic origins to the rise of globalization and cyber-communications.

Professor Curzan approaches words like an archaeologist, digging below the surface to uncover the story of words, from the humble she to such SAT words as conflagration and pedimanous.

In these 36 fascinating lectures, you'll

  • discover the history of the dictionary and how words make it into a reference book like the Oxford English Dictionary;
  • survey the borrowed words that make up the English lexicon;
  • find out how words are born and how they die;
  • expand your vocabulary by studying Greek and Latin word webs; and
  • revel in new terms, such as musquirt, adorkable, and struggle bus.

English is an omnivorous language and has borrowed heavily from the many languages it has come into contact with, from Celtic and Old Norse in the Middle Ages to the dozens of world languages in the truly global 20th and 21st centuries. You'll be surprised to learn that the impulse to conserve pure English is nothing new. In fact, if English purists during the Renaissance had their way, we would now be using Old English compounds such as flesh-strings for muscles and bone-lock for joint.

You may not come away using terms like whatevs or multislacking in casual conversation, but you'll love studying the linguistic system that gives us such irreverent - and fun - slang, from boy toy to cankles.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

Download and start listening now!

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