New book: Grammar Matters: The Social Significance of How We Use Language

Jila Ghomeshi writes about many aspects of language from a social and historical point of view.  We have a tendency, for example, to judge as unintelligent those people who don’t use language in the same way we do. Ghomeshi helps us understand why this is an unproductive way to evaluate others.  She writes of the frustrating irregularity of many language habits (sometimes I wonder how anyone can learn English!) and relieves us of the compulsion to necessarily find logic in language. Just because patterns are familiar does not mean they make sense (see: ghoti–the “correct” spelling of fish. I’ll write about that in my next post.)

Ghomeshi writes that:  ”the relationship between a prescriptive grammarian and a linguist is like the relationship between an etiquette expert and an anthropologist, ” and she takes the part of the linguist.

It costs $12.95 on, or even better, at your local bookstore.

Jila Ghomeshi, author.  Grammar Matters:  The Social Significance of How We Use Language.  Published by Arbeiter Ring Publishing (ARP), 2010

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