41st out of 187 books — 27 voters
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 lan...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Gallery Books
(first published October 1st 1992)
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Richard Lederer’s “The Miracle of Language” is a treat for those who love language, both readers and teachers. This 1991 book has generally aged well, though an update would be in order to consider the effect of the Internet on language, especially email, and the coming of ebooks. A chapter devoted to a celebration of letter-writing seems altogether from another era. The book is a potpourri of different takes on language—some study the impact of authors such as Shakespeare while others pay tribu...more
I enjoy books about language and words, so naturally I greatly enjoyed this book. Lederer quotes many authors and writers--many of whom I have read and many whom I have not heard of before. I like reading these quotes, as I can relate back to what I know about the writer and time period or look them up. For example, we just read "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell in my English class. Lederer mentions how Orwell spent time abroad in Burma as a sergeant with the Imperial Indian Police. My min...more
I loved it, but nothing else quite comes close to the joy to be found within the pages of Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language
This book is a gold mine of information about the idiosyncrasies of our language. Anyone who likes to play with words will love this book which covers topics such as neologisms, redundancies, puns and the contributions to the English language of writers such as Shakespeare and Mark Twain. When I saw how many new words have entered the English vocabulary since 1950, I was astounded.
I really enjoyed this book, though like many others I was disappointed that it basically devolved into page after page of quotes. Still, the first two-thirds or so of the book were very interesting and entertaining. Who knew that a book about language could be educational AND fun?
This book really got me excited about language, reading, writing, the whole gamut. It is laugh out loud entertaining for the first half; maybe even 2/3. Then he reverted into just page after page of quotes by others about poetry, words, writing and on and on. I would read maybe 20 quotes and then skip to the end of the list hoping the next chapter would be like the first part of the book. It never happened. The last 1/3 of the book is great if you are looking for a quote, but it is not smooth re...more
Richard Lederer is the author of more than 35 books about language, history, and humor, including his best-selling Anguished English series and his current book, The Gift of Age. 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. He has been named International Punster of the Year and Toast...moreMore about Richard Lederer...