~Betty Birner, "Is English Changing?" from The Linguistic Society of America
Language changes over time. The popularity of words, especially slang or words related to technology or trends, ebbs and flows. Some long-forgotten words, however, are worth resurrecting.
~from Grammarly, "Neat-O! Vintage Slang Words to Add to Your Modern Vocabulary"
Language! It's a useful tool, and sometimes a weapon, so it's good to know how to wield it properly. What better way to get to know your mother tongue than to study its history and usage? Here are a smattering of recent items from the library catalog, mostly about English, to pique your interest in the history and usage of language. You might be surprised by the twists and turns language has taken over time!
Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs, and Washington Handshakes: Decoding the Jargon, Slang, and Bluster of American Political Speech by Chuck McCutcheon
Soldiers' Songs and Slang of the Great War by Martin Pegler
How to Speak Brit: The Quintessential Guide to the King's English, Cockney Slang, and Other Flummoxing British Phrases by Christopher J. Moore
Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation by Ammon Shea
Holy Shit: A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa Mohr
Madre: Perilous Journeys With a Spanish Noun by Liza Bakewell
That's Not English: Britishisms, Americanisms, And What Our English Says About Us by Erin Moore
Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris
OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word by Allan Metcalf
The Language Wars: A History of Proper English by Henry Hitchings
Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master In No Time by Mignon Fogarty
Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language For Fun and Spite by June Casagrande
Looking for vocabulary and writing help, word games, and more? Try our Brainfuse eResource - free access with your valid library card!
Fun Wordy Links
Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips
Vocabulary Games from PBS Kids
Word Games and Quizzes from Merriam-Webster
TED Talk Playlist: How language changes over time
The Truth About Language Change [PBS]