British English A to Zed: A Definitive Guide to the Queen's English

Skyhorse
14
Free sample

A fun, engaging guide helps you speak the mother tongue like a native.
 
Whether you are traveling to Great Britain or just want to understand British popular culture, this unique dictionary will answer your questions. British English from A to Zed contains more than 5,500 British terms and their American equivalents, each with a short explanation of the term’s history and an example of its use. The appendices provide valuable supplemental material with differences between British and American pronunciation, grammar, and spelling as well as terms grouped in specific areas such as currency, weight, and numbers.
 
This dictionary will help you unravel the meanings of:
 
  • Berk (idiot)
  • Bevvied up (drunk)
  • Crisps (potato chips)
  • Erk (rookie)
  • To judder (to shake)
  • Noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe)
  • And more!
 
George Bernard Shaw famously said that the British and Americans were “two peoples separated by a common language.” This book bridges that gap.
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About the author

Norman W. Schur was a lawyer, a graduate of Columbia Law School, and a lexicographer. His first book British Self-Taught: With Comments in American was published in 1973 and revised in 1980, 1987, and 2007. He passed away in 1992.
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3.6
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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse
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Published on
Jul 1, 2013
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Pages
481
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ISBN
9781626364677
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Authorship
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Do, or should, dictionaries control language? How do they treat language change, both now and in the past? Which words do dictionaries leave out - and on what grounds? Dictionaries are far more than works which list the words and meanings of a language. In this Very Short Introduction Lynda Mugglestone shows that all dictionaries are partial and all are selective. They are human products, reflecting the dominant social and cultural assumptions of the time in which they were written. Dictionaries exist then not only as works which seek to document language, but also as cultural documents that are connected to the world in which they were produced. Exploring common beliefs about dictionaries, providing glimpses of behind the scenes dictionary makers at work, and confronting the problems of how a word is to be defined, Mugglestone shows that dictionaries are always, and inevitably, more than the crafting of a simple list of words. Concluding with a look at the range of modern dictionaries and transformations, from online dictionaries such as urbandictionary.com or wictionary to txt-spk and slang, she reveals the controversial nature of the debates about communication and language, showing that only in written and spoken English does the language of dictionaries exist in full. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
We all think we know what a dictionary is for and how to use one, so most of us skip the first pages—the front matter—and go right to the words we wish to look up. Yet dictionary users have not always known how English “works” and my book reproduces and examines for the first time important texts in which seventeenth- and eighteenth-century dictionary authors explain choices and promote ideas to readers, their “end users.” Unlike French, Spanish, and Italian dictionaries compiled during this time and published by national academies, the goal of English dictionaries was usually not to “purify” the language, though some writers did attempt to regularize it. Instead, English lexicographers aimed to teach practical ways for their users to learn English, improve their language skills, even transcend their social class. The anthology strives to be comprehensive in its coverage of the first phase of this tradition from the early seventeenth century—from Robert Cawdrey’s (1604) A Table Alphabeticall, to Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language (1755), and finally, to Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). The book puts English dictionaries in historical, national, linguistic, literary, cultural contexts, presenting lexicographical trends and the change in the English language over two centuries, and examines how writers attempted to control it by appealing to various pedagogical and legal authorities. Moreover, the development of dictionary and attempts to codify English language and grammar coincided with the arc of the British Empire; the promulgation of “proper” English has been a subject of debate and inquiry for centuries and, in part, dictionaries and the teaching of English historically have been used to present and support ideas about what is correct, regardless of how and where English is actually used. The authors who wrote these texts apply ideas about capitalism, nationalism, sex and social status to favor one language theory over another. I show how dictionaries are not neutral documents: they challenge or promote biases. The book presents and analyzes the history of lexicography, demonstrating how and why dictionaries evolved into the reference books we now often take for granted and we can see that there is no easy answer to the question of “who owns English.”
Current Projects in Historical Lexicography brings together seven papers by present and recent editors of historical dictionaries and lexical databases.

The collection is introduced with an overview of the history of historical lexicography from the ancient world to the present day, with particular emphasis on the major nineteenth-century dictionaries of German, French, English, Dutch, Swedish, and Danish, and on their successors. In the first paper, Javier Martín Arista describes the present state of, and the prospects for, the Nerthus lexical database of Old English. The next two introduce specialized dictionaries of the language of medieval and early modern texts: Fernando Tejedo-Herrero’s comprehensive dictionary of the language of the great thirteenth-century lawcode Siete Partidas, and Juhani Norri’s Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary in English, 1375–1530. Marijke Mooijaart’s paper discusses the online integration of the four historical dictionaries which cover Dutch from the earliest times to the twentieth century. The next two papers, Stefan Dollinger on the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles and the Bank of Canadian English, and Maggie Scott on the Concise Scots Dictionary, describe projects to revise twentieth-century historical dictionaries as the language varieties which they register evolve. Finally, Jeremy Bergerson’s paper presents a project for an etymologically rich historical dictionary of Afrikaans. An appendix to the volume comprises two previously unpublished short documents by Katherine Barber and John Considine which bear on the history of the Dictionary of Canadianisms revision project.

The contributions to this volume offer a rare set of insights into ongoing lexicographical work, addressing both methodological issues such as inclusion criteria and the balance between diachronic and synchronic coverage, and practical issues such as publication media and funding.

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Booklist Top of the List Reference Source

The heir and successor to Eric Partridge's brilliant magnum opus, The Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, this two-volume New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English is the definitive record of post WWII slang.

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Unique, exciting and, at times, hilariously shocking, key features include:

unprecedented coverage of World English, with equal prominence given to American and British English slang, and entries included from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, South Africa, Ireland, and the Caribbean

emphasis on post-World War II slang and unconventional English

published sources given for each entry, often including an early or significant example of the term’s use in print.

hundreds of thousands of citations from popular literature, newspapers, magazines, movies, and songs illustrating usage of the headwords

dating information for each headword

in the tradition of Partridge, commentary on the term’s origins and meaning

New to this edition:

A new preface noting slang trends of the last five years Over 1,000 new entries from the US, UK and Australia New terms from the language of social networking Many entries now revised to include new dating, new citations from written sources and new glosses

The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English is a spectacular resource infused with humour and learning – it’s rude, it’s delightful, and it’s a prize for anyone with a love of language.

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Your future as a writer is in your hands. Whether you are a newcomer or an accomplished professional, a novelist, story writer, or a writer of nonfiction, you will find this book a wealth of immediately useful guidance not available anywhere else. As Sol Stein, renowned editor, author, and instructor, explains, "This is not a book of theory. It is a book of useable solutions-- how to fix writing that is flawed, how to improve writing that is good, how to create interesting writing in the first place."

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There's more to writing a successful fantasy story than building a unique world or inventing new magic. How exactly is a plot put together? How do you know if your idea will support an entire novel? How do you grab reader attention and keep it? How do you create dynamic, multi-dimensional characters? What is viewpoint and do you handle it differently in urban fantasy than in traditional epics? What should you do if you're lost in the middle? How do you make your plot end up where you intend it to go? From the writing of strong, action-packed scenes to the handling of emotions, let award-winning fantasy author Deborah Chester guide you through the process of putting a book together. Convinced there's no need to shroud the writing process under a veil of mystery, Chester supplies tips that are both practical and proven. They are exactly what she uses in writing her own novels and what she teaches in her writing courses at the University of Oklahoma. Along with explaining story construction step-by-step, Chester illustrates each technique with examples drawn from both traditional and urban fantasy. The technique chapters include exercises to assist novices in mastering the craft of writing fantasy as well as suggestions for avoiding or solving plot problems. More experienced writers will find tips for taking their work to the next level. With an introduction by author Jim Butcher, The fantasy fiction formula provides the information you need to gain skill and proficiency in writing fantasy like a pro.
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