Review Making sense: The glamorous history of English grammar (a review)

original work by DAVID CRYSTAL reviewed by BARRY TOMALIN

Books by David Crystal are always a pleasure to read. One of the world’s leading scholars, writers and broadcasters on language and linguistics, he manages to be informative and entertaining at the same time. He is able to make complicated concepts appear relatively simple by writing about them in a natural and uncomplicated way, and when he writes, you feel that he is talking to you personally. That’s the gift of Making Sense, grammatical concepts genuinely made simple and yes, at times, maybe even glamorous. It is part of a series which includes The Story of English in 100 Words, Spell It Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling and Making a Point: The Pernickety Story of English Punctuation (you can see Crystal’s way of having fun with words in these titles). I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t learn from this, but it is especially useful for language and linguistics students, researchers and teachers. Engagingly and expertly written, it is excellent for readers learning about grammar and getting up to date on trends in analysis and usage.

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