Book spine poem #39: Language, Language!

My latest piece of doggerel in book-spine form has an obvious theme.


Language, Language!

Language, language!
The story of language.
Language, slanguage
Spoken here: a history of
Language, a history of
Writing: style, style,
Style in fiction,
Linguistics and style,
Language and linguistics.
What is linguistics?
Understanding language.


[click to enlarge]


Thanks to the authors: Daniel Everett, Jonathon Green, C.L. Barber, Leonard Bloomfield, Bernard Share, Mark Abley, Steven Roger Fischer, F.L. Lucas, Joseph M. Williams, Geoffrey N. Leech & Michael H. Short, Nils Erik Enkvist & John Spencer & Michael J. Gregory, John Lyons, David Crystal, and Elizabeth Grace Winkler; and also to Nina Katchadourian. Sorry about the gender imbalance – my language books skew male.

Some of these books and authors have appeared on Sentence first before in one form or another. Language! with an exclamation mark, on the history of slang, is one I reviewed; F.L. Lucas featured in a post on clarity and style; and various others I’ve quoted in passing.

Mark Abley’s book was in a previous bookmash on language, Broken Words; others are The Accidental Grammar, Unlocking the Language, The Name of the World, Evolution: The Difference Engine, Forest of Symbols, Ambient Gestures, and The Web of Words.

If you’re catching up, here’s my full archive of book spine poems. Join in if you like – your bookshelves will never look quite the same again.


9 Responses to Book spine poem #39: Language, Language!

  1. Lisa says:

    This may be the best one yet!

  2. astraya says:

    Me: I’m going to write a book about language.
    Someone else: What are you going to call it?
    Me: ‘Language’.

  3. Shaun says:

    Ah, thing of beauty this one, Stan!

  4. […] enrich any writer’s, editor’s, or reader’s shelf – from which place it may even end up in a poem. For further excerpts, […]

  5. Pattie says:

    A new way at looking at books, in charity shops, that get shelved.

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