The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language is one of the publishing phenomena of recent times. Rarely has a book so packed with accurate and well researched factual information been so widely read and popularly acclaimed. It has played a key role in the spread of general interest in language matters, generating further publications and broadcasting events for an avid audience. Its First Edition appeared in hardback in 1995 and a revised paperback in 1997. There have been numerous subsequent updated reprintings; but this second edition now presents an overhaul of the subject for a new generation of language-lovers and of teachers, students and professional English-users concerned with their own linguistic legacy. The length of the book has been extended and there are 44 new illustrations, extensive new material on world English and Internet English, and a complete updating of statistics, further reading suggestions and other references.
'A delight and a treasure ... David Crystal does a brilliant job of satisfying our curiosity about our mother tongue while illuminating the deepest questions of who we are and where we come from. A magnificent achievement.' Steven Pinker, Harvard 'David Crystal is phenomenal ... This is a prodigious achievement ... The book contains breadth of range, imaginative insight, and deep understanding ... It is pervasively readable and stimulating.' Lord Quirk '... a superb work that manages to be both scholarly and vastly entertaining ... This is a deeply impressive book, for it packs between two covers virtually everything any normal person might care to know about English.' The Washington Post Book World '... bedazzles ... with an eye-popping presentation of ... the mother tongue.' The New York Times '... scholarly and entertaining ... the range, scholarly value, interest, attractiveness and (often) humour of the tables, graphics, illustrations, photographs, colour plates, maps, and quoted material is quite stunning. rarely has serious information been presented so colourfully, so strikingly. A splendid work, essential in all libraries and destined to live a long and useful life.' Reference Reviews 'I have been unable to think of a question this book cannot answer ... I will risk predicting that Professor Crystal will not be superseded much before the message sent into space on Voyager I ... receives an answer.' The Times Literary Supplement '... it gives ... the whole history and grammar, all the theory and practice of English with precision, panache and wit.' The Observer '... without a doubt one of the most beautiful and enlightening volumes I have handled in some years.' Western Australia Sunday Times '... an outstanding work ... The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language will surely remain the definite text in the field for some time to come.' fun-with-words.com '...the most diverting, delightful, imaginative and altogether entertaining compilation ever assembled about spoken and written English.' Parade Magazine '... bedazzles you with an eye-popping presentation of the cluck-clucking of the mother tongue. If you like fireworks with your information, this is a worthwhile language book ...' William Safire, The New York Times Magazine '... this remarkable book is a goldmine of learning and knowledge ... All readers ... should find great value, and great pleasure, in this amazing reference book.' Cambridge '... contains a monstrous amount of information on a fascinating topic arranged in a clear, concise, and, above all, entertaining manner - a dangerous combination indeed, and one that can only lead to uncontrolable reading binges lasting hours or perhaps days.' Quill and Quire 'You can open it to any page and be enthralled.' Indianapolis News 'the Encyclopedia is, of course, a serious work of scholarship, but it is eminently readable.' The Hindu ...bedazzles you with an eye-popping presentation of the cluck-clucking of the mother tongue. If you like fireworks with your information, this is a worthwhile language book... William Safire, The New York Times Magazine The Cambridge Encyclopedia of English Language (is) perhaps the most brilliant book of the past ten years... Globe and Mail This is more than an encyclopedia; it is also a compendium of wonderful anecdotes and illustrations. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language should be at the top of the list for purchases in all library language/literature collections. Reference Book Review The clear and spirited text is stunning, enhanced with over 500 illustrations, making this a particularly rich reference work and a browser's dream...Crystal has created an attractive and readable work for the lay reader as well as the specialist. Library Journal ...contains a monstrous amount of information on a fascinating topic arranged in a clear, concise, and, above all, entertaining manner--a dangerous combination indeed, and one that can only lead to uncontrollable reading binges lasting hours or perhaps days. Quill & Quire