In this fascinating survey of everything from how sounds become speech to how names work, David Crystal answers every question you might ever have had about the nuts and bolts of language in his usual highly illuminating way. Along the way we find out about eyebrow flashes, whistling languages, how parents teach their children to speak, how politeness travels across languages and how the way we talk show not just how old we are but where we’re from and even who we want to be.
David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has published over ninety books, most recently The Stories of English, and is the editor of The Penguin Encyclopaedia. In 1995, he was awarded the OBE for services to the English language. He lives in Holyhead, Anglesey.