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Language Play

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  40 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
In this exhilarating and often hilarious book, David Crystal examines why we devote so much time and energy to language games, how professionals make a career of them, and how young children instinctively take to them. Crystal makes a simple argument-that since playing with language is so natural, a natural way to learn language is to play with it-while he discusses puns, ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published June 11th 2001 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1998)
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Sep 17, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable survey of 'ludic' play, that is playing with words, something that children do from a very early age and are encouraged to do, and that adults do continually throughout their lives, often without thinking about. Crystal keeps his tone light, has hundreds of examples of different kinds of wordplay, and only towards the end gets a little serious in his discussion of why, when children are at school, wordplay is discouraged to a degree in educational materials. Although when the bo ...more
Scarlett Sims
Jan 03, 2012 Scarlett Sims rated it it was amazing
I love books about language and this was a good non-technical but scholarly look specifically at, as the title says, language play. It was quite a fascinating read and the author did some interesting things with format, like when he was talking about lipograms, he wrote a paragraph without the letter e. He also had a section on language play with children which was really interesting. I actually got some ideas of stuff to do with the students. The author is British, so there are a lot of example ...more
Bob Hartley
Sep 14, 2012 Bob Hartley rated it liked it
This is right up my alleyway because I'm all about puns and wordplay, but this is right up my arse because it's too in-depth and assumes too little of the reader.

I'm an advanced punsmith.

I want to be treated as such!
Lilí Lanz
Jan 16, 2011 Lilí Lanz rated it liked it
A fun book to read. This book talks about different kind of language games. If you're looking for something more scientific though, this book won't do.
Mar 03, 2013 severyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A little trite.
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David Crystal works from his home in Holyhead, North Wales, as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster. Born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland in 1941, he spent his early years in Holyhead. His family moved to Liverpool in 1951, and he received his secondary schooling at St Mary's College. He read English at University College London (1959-62), specialised in English language studies, did some rese ...more
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“Joke exchanges are carried on in deadly earnest, like a verbal duel-mouth-to-mouth combat. Bang, bang: you’re (linguistically) dead.” 8 likes
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