- The Mother Tongue ©1990
- Perennial: HarperCollins
- 270 pages
Have you ever wondered why Bill Bryson is such an interesting author? Maybe it’s because of his encyclopedic knowledge of the English language. In The Mother Tongue, Bryson takes the reader on a tour through the formation and the use of the most common language in the world.
Every page—I’m not exaggerating here—had something on it that made me either laugh or think. If you’re a fan of trivia, this book is especially geared toward you. Here’s my favourite tidbit: the “k” in knight was not originally silent. Do you realize what that means? The French Knight in England in Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail is actually historically accurate in calling down those English kuh-ni’-gets. Awesome.
Any English speaking person should enjoy this substantial treatment of our mother tongue.