Mother Tongue (Popular Penguin)
With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Bryson--the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent--brilliantly explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience and sheer fun of the English language. From the first descent of the larynx into the throat (why you can talk but your dog can't), to the fine lost art of swearing, Bryson tells the fascinating, often uproarious story of an inadequate, second-rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the world's largest growth industries.
Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up there, but has spent most of his adult life in Britain. He has worked for a number of newspapers, including The Times and the Independent. His books on the English language include Mother Tongue and Troublesome Words, both published by Penguin. Bill Bryson is the author of several bestsellers including The Lost Continent, Neither Here Nor There, Notes from a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods, Notes from a Big Country, Down Under, A Short History of Nearly Everything, One Summer: America 1927 and his memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. His most recent bestseller is The Road to Little Dribbling.