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 written or edited over 1 books and published numerous articles for scholarly, professional, and general readerships, in fields ranging from forensic linguistics and ELT to the liturgy and Shakespeare. His books include the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (2nd edn 1997), the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (2nd edn 2003), Words, Words, Words (OUP 2006), and The Fight for English (OUP 2006).