Bad English

  • by Ammon Shea
  • Narrated by Mike Chamberlain
  • 7 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

English is a glorious mess of a language, cobbled together from a wide variety of sources and syntaxes, and changing over time with popular usage. Many of the words and usages we embrace as standard and correct today were at first considered slang, impolite, or just plain wrong. Whether you consider yourself a stickler, a nitpicker, or a rule-breaker in the know, Bad English is sure to enlighten, enrage, and perhaps even inspire. Filled with historic and contemporary examples, the audiobook chronicles the long and entertaining history of language mistakes, and features some of our most common words and phrases, including decimate, hopefully, enormity, that vs. which, enervate vs. energize, bemuse vs. amuse, literally vs. figuratively, ain't, irregardless, socialist, OMG, and stupider. Lively, funny, and surprising, this is an audiobook that will settle arguments among word lovers-and it's sure to start a few, too.


What the Critics Say

"On the playground of language, there is no more mischievous laddie than Ammon Shea." (Roy Peter Clark, author of The Glamour of Grammar)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Turns your knowledge of English upside down

Any additional comments?

What a fun and interesting book! I pride myself in being current on grammar and knowledgeable about vocabulary and usage, but this book sort of throws it all away! It points out the histories of words and phrases and their origins as well as indicating why some are very much frowned on and where the "misuses" originated. I personally am no less likely to notice when someone "misuses" a subject versus object form of a pronoun, but I feel better about my decision not generally to point it out (it really has always been rude :-) ). In the end of the book, it goes through a list of often misused – in some contexts and some people's opinions – words and phrases and when they were determined to be "wrong". I really liked the book :-) , and now I can use some of the ideas to help myself in main language usage and decisions and know on what they are nominally based. (less) [edit]

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- Marsha L. Woerner

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-19-2014
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio