StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

The English Language - Book Report/Review Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
The English Language

Even when we put language to such a vast spectrum of uses, there are not many who bother to look into its mechanism in a bid to find out what actually constitutes this marvelous tool. What are the cogs in this machine What is the breath of its being
Any research into the guts of language would lead us to a master called George Orwell. But there are a few more who also have taken up this prime project and they include Lynne Truss and David Lodge. The former is under strobe lights for her book on punctuation; the latter for his formidable oeuvre on the name and nature of the English language. It may not be possible to touch upon all the areas of concern that they did in such a modest endeavor. What can be done is to piece together from the masters a collage of cohesive ideas.
Orwell's landmark essay called 'The Politics and the English Language' (1946) begins with the significant observation that the slovenliness of language and the decadence of our thoughts are complementary. Since language is our tool for thought, the more mediocre it gets, the less lofty would our thought too be. Orwell diagnoses the condition as 'mental vice' characterized by 'staleness of imagery' and 'lack of precision'. The great master of style complains that "As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse." Orwell lists four sources which could pollute good writing: dying metaphors, verbal false limbs, pretentious diction and meaningless words. Dying metaphors are those that are too old to be adequately communicative. Verbal false limbs apparently and uselessly prop up simple verbs. Pretentious diction includes foreign words, high sounding words and mere words. And meaningless words Meaningless words! Although Orwell's essay was written in 1946 when the notions of correctness and grammaticality were in vogue, the stress is more on communication that on norms. Perhaps, the essay was also a curtain raiser to good writing more than proper writing.

In 1984, David Lodge published a slim volume called Who Cares About English Usage In the second chapter of the book (You know you know ), Lodge makes an interesting observation while talking about the use, abuse and overuse of you know in spoken English. He too is bothered about imprecise usage and verbiage. But he says that there are occasions when language does not demand purity. "At home, in shopping, in the pub, in a canteen in innumerable everyday settings where there is no external pressure on us to speak according to a national standard, where no one is listening to us in order to judge us people use language just as a form of social cement, to chat rather than to converse"(13). David Lodge calibrates correctness with a different set of parameters. He says that the greatest sin is overuse. 'You know' is a useful tool when one needs to be subtle, pragmatic and persuasive. It, along with several expressions like 'mind you', 'you see' and 'the trouble ...Show more

Summary

A language is like a living organism. But with a difference. Whereas all living things have to undergo entropy or the process of decadence, language goes on and on. Many languages may die, but a good majority survives the onslaught of time. Man cannot survive without communication and language has been his best tool for it, ever reliable, ever mischievous.
Author : freedahilpert
The English Language essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the book report/review on your topic
"The English Language"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Teaching English as an additional language
The three major shifts that constitute the major transition in TESOL method since 1991 have been very effective. These are discussed below. First shift is from communicative language teaching (CLT) to task based language teaching (TBLT).
1 pages (250 words) Book Report/Review
Judgements about English
A language is that tool that assists human beings in expressing themselves. The way a particular language has come up depends on its history, the culture that complements it and various factors like the functional use that first triggered the need to coin certain words or principles of use for spoken and written purposes.
6 pages (1500 words) Book Report/Review
English Writing Process
Other studies focus alone on the difficulties that second language learners encounter in the English writing process. This study, however, focuses on the role of instruction and how it affects the process of learning writing using the English language. The subjects of the study were two Arab students who have just completed their undergraduate courses in their own country and at the time of study were in the United States to pursue their Master's degree.
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
Language in Contemporary English Drama
The three writers under whose usage of language is under scrutiny in this paper lay critical foundation for the discussion of modern theatre. The importance of language and form in literature and modern theatre lies in the fact that in order to decode a hieroglyph, the only recourse is to know the signs (words) that immediately form another hieroglyph (Zimmerman 2002).
16 pages (4000 words) Book Report/Review
Brian Fawcetts Politics and the English Language
Fawcett follows Orwell's logic, in saying that political writing greatly affects the development and state of politics. Fawcett defines politics "as the things we do to one another, or allow to be done to us by others through indifference or lust or whatever we've decide is self-interest." In saying so, his definition deviates from the traditional view of politics as involving controls, institutions and power struggles, to a view that implies that our complacency and indifference are the main causes of political subordination and oppression.
2 pages (500 words) Book Report/Review
Middle English Language
Sir Orfeo is one of the romances found in this Manuscript. "Sir Orfeo occurs at folios 299 recto to 303 recto in the Auchinleck manuscript, immediately after the romance Sir Tristrem, and followed the Four Foes of Mankind." The text itself might have been composed in the first quarter of the fourteenth century.
12 pages (3000 words) Book Report/Review
English Language Teaching
Therefore, it is fundamental to make a critical review of such qualitative research articles in applied linguistics in order to comprehend the vital role of qualitative research methodology in dealing with essential topics in the area. Two of the most illustrious qualitative research articles in applied linguistics are "Learning Words: Large Group Time as a Vocabulary Development Opportunity" by Myae Han , Kathleen Roskos , James Christie , Sonia Mandzuk , Carol Vukelich and "The literacy development of kindergarten English-language learners" by Luisa Araujo.
10 pages (2500 words) Book Report/Review
George Orwell's 'Politics and the English Language'
Orwell expresses in his essay short and sweet are the way we should speak; but in today's world (and true in his time) we have gotten weak, lazy, and pretentious with our words. We use words we don't understand in a way that doesn't apply to what we are trying to say.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Age and the Acquisition of English as a Foreign Language. Editied by Maria del Pilar Garcia Mayo and Maria Luisa Garcia Lecumberri, 2003
This has facilitated researchers and educationists to focus on the ‘age factor’ and analyze its significance and relevance in terms of acquiring foreign / second language skills. The book “Age and Acquisition of English as
14 pages (3500 words) Book Report/Review
Multilingual America
The article written by the author focuses on the increase of language diversification in the United States as centuries of immigration have already made the country ethnically diverse. The author starts his article with the quote saying
1 pages (250 words) Book Report/Review
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation