How English Became English by Simon Horobin review – ‘OMG’ was first used 100 years ago


‘Every year, in Britain at least, the bestseller lists seem to bring news of another hit book on how our language is going to the dogs. As the eye-popping sales figures of authors such as Lynne Truss, Simon Heffer andNM Gwynne show, it’s an irresistible subject.

The Oxford scholar Simon Horobin’s new volume, by contrast, is part of an opposing genre of books by serious linguists on why, essentially, we shouldn’t care. Unfortunately the text sometimes slips into tutorial mode. We are treated to quite a lot of Old English, and talk of “preterite” tenses, “weak verb classes”, “inflexional endings”, and so on, as well as intermittent flashes of professorial humour (these days, would you believe it, “trolls are not just found lurking under bridges preying on unsuspecting billy goats, tweeting is not limited to birds, and surfing no longer requires a surfboard”).’

Find out more!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s