Author(s): David Crystal
In Making Sense, David Crystal confronts the foe of many: grammar. Once taught relentlessly to all students in the English-speaking world, grammar disappeared from most school curricula, so that terms such as "preposition" and "conjunction" now often confound children and adults alike.Explaining the nuts and bolts of grammar presents a special challenge, because - far more than is the case with spelling and punctuation - the subject is burdened with a centuries-old history of educational practice that many will recall as anything but glamorous. One of the world's foremost authorities on the English language, Crystal sets out to rid grammar of its undeserved reputation as a dry and intimidating subject, pointing out how essential grammar is to clear and effective speech and writing. He moves briskly through the stages by which children acquire grammar, along the way demystifying grammar's rules and irregularities and showing us how to navigate its snares and pitfalls. He offers the fascinating history of grammar, explaining how it has evolved from the first grammarians in ancient Greece to our 21st century digital environment of blogging, emailing, and texting.Many find grammar to be a daunting subject, but in this breezy, entertaining book, Crystal proves that grammar doesn't need to make us uneasy-we can all make sense of how we make sense.
The world's best-known authority on the English language reveals the secrets and subtleties of its grammar
Refreshing and briskly written ... Crystal shows that grammar is not nearly as tedious as it can seem. * Sunday Times * Previous praise for David Crystal: 'Crystal's book is full of distractions and delights. * Daily Express * If the history of language is a sort of labyrinth, David Crystal is an excellent guide * The Age, Australia * Delicious revelations ... Crystal does an excellent job, not just of tracing the etymology of a word, but of relating it to social history, painting a picture of our times through words * Independent on Sunday *
David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. His many books range from clinical linguistics to the liturgy and Shakespeare. He is the author of The Story of English in 100 Words, Spell It Out: The Singular History of English Spelling, and Making a Point: The Pernickety History of English Punctuation, all published by Profile. His Stories of English is a Penguin Classic.