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The Miracle of Language

The Miracle of Language

Master verbalist Richard Lederer, America's "Wizard of Idiom" (Denver Post), presents a love letter to the most glorious of human achievements...
Welcome to Richard Lederer's beguiling celebration of language -- of our ability to utter, write, and receive words. No purists need stop here. Mr. Lederer is no linguistic sheriff organizing posses to hunt down and string up language offenders. Instead, join him "In Praise of English," and discover why the tongue described in Shakespeare's day as "of small reatch" has become the most widely spoken language in history:
  • English never rejects a word because of race, creed, or national origin. Did you know that jukebox comes from Gullah and canoe from Haitian Creole?
  • Many of our greatest writers have invented words and bequeathed new expressions to our eveyday conversations. Can you imagine making up almost ten percent of our written vocabulary? Scholars now know that William Shakespeare did just that!

He also points out the pitfalls and pratfalls of English. If a man mans a station, what does a woman do? In the "The Department of Redundancy Department," "Is English Prejudiced?" and other essays, Richard Lederer urges us not to abandon that which makes us human: the capacity to distinguish, discriminate, compare, and evaluate.
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  • Gallery Books | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780671028114 | 
  • April 1999
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About the Author

Richard Lederer

Richard Lederer is the author of more than 30 books about language, history, and humor, including his best-selling Anguished English series and his current book, Presidential Trivia. He has been profiled in magazines as diverse as The New Yorker, People, and the National Enquirer and frequently appears on radio as a commentator on language. Dr. Lederer's syndicated column, "Looking at Language," appears in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States. He has been named International Punster of the Year and Toastmasters International's Golden Gavel winner.

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