References and Further Reading
Language has always held great fascination (in the beginning was the word), and a dialog continues between scholars and the rest of us, via books, newspapers, magazines, internet newsgroups, and the media. This curiosity covers language in general, English in particular, and the American/British issue because American is ever more prevalent, and British the once prevalent source. Part of the impetus behind this dictionary was to accumulate answers to some of these latter questions. But over the last decade or so, a number of books and documentaries have satisfied that curiosity.
I have an annotated list of such books below under general language reference. I enthusiastically encourage readers to at least pop down to the local library and leaf through these books, or check out the videos.
I also list some books about American, some books about British, and a special class, dictionaries or word lists that go both from American to British and British to American, to which this dictionary belongs.
Finally, alphabetically sorted by author, is an inclusive list of books and articles that I used in researching for the various chapters in this dictionary, everything from contemporary slang to ancient linguistics.
Web links to a similar set of resources are maintained separately online, since they have a shorter half-life.
General Language References:
This book accompanies nine hours of documentary of the English language. The language is not only traced to its source, but also shown how it is evolving in the most surprising places. There are highlights of English in many areas including Australia, previously Celtic regions, the colonies, and of course the USA and Britain. I found it most enlightening and absolutely worth viewing.
- The Story of English, A companion to the PBS television series, Robert McCrum, William Cran, Robert McNeil, Viking Press 1986, ISBN 0-670-80467-3.
This is the general reference of the English Language. Its the ultimate English Language FAQ. And for an overview of all the worlds languages, see David Crystals The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language.
- The Cambridge Encyclopedia of The English Language, David Crystal, Cambridge University Press 1995 ISBN 0 521 40179 8.
This delightful book brings our thinking about language into the 21st century. I found it clarifies all the language issues, and provides a context for exploring any particular aspect.
- Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct, William Morrow, 1994.
American Slang, Robert L. Chapman, 2nd Edition, HarperPerennial, 1995.
Lonely Planet USA Phrasebook: Understanding Americans & Their Culture, Colleen Cotter (Editor), Sally Steward, 2nd edition, Lonely Planet, August 2001.
British English A to Zed, Norman W. Schur, revised by Eugene Ehrlich, Checkmark Books 2001. (This is the latest, and posthumous, revision of Schurs 1973 British Self Taught.)
British English for American Readers. A Dictionary of the Language, Customs, and Places of British Life and Literature, David Grote, Greenwood Press, 1992.
Lonely Planet British Phrasebook, Elizabeth Bartsch-Parker, Dr Roibeard O'Maolalaigh, Stephen Burger, Lonely Planet, August 1999.
English for Americans with a sense of humour, M Tracey, White-Boucke.
NTC's Dictionary of British Slang and Colloquial Expressions, Ewart James, Editor, NTC Publishing Group, November 1996.
The Very Best of British, Mike Etherington, Effingpot Productions, September 2000.
Understanding British English, Margaret Moore, Citadel Press 1989.
The American-British British-American Dictionary with Helpful Hints to Travelers, William Quinby de Funiak, A.S. Barnes & Co, 1963, 1978.
American English English American, E J Perkins, A Domino Book (1997) 1998.
Anglo-American American-Anglo, William N. Gallard & L. Amanda Smith, Water Lane Publishing Co, 1984.
An Anglo-American Interpreter A Vocabulary and Phrase book, H. W. Horwill, The Folcroft Press 1939 (1970).
British & American English Since 1900, John W. Clark, Eric Partridge, Greenwood Press, NY 1951, 1968.
British and American English, Peter Streven, Collier-Macmillan 1972 .
British/American Language Dictionary, Norman Moss, Passport Books (1973) 1984.
British: British-American American-British, Catherine McCormick, Hippocrene Books, (1996) 2001.
A Common Language, British & American English, BBC & Voice of America 1964.
Divided by a Common Language, Christopher Davies, Jason Murphy, Mayflower Press, January 1998.
Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions: Making Sense of Transatlantic English, Orin Hargraves, Oxford University Press, November 2002.
Particular Dialect Studies:
- The Dialects of England, Peter Trudgill, Blackwell, 1990, ISBN 0-631-13917-6.
A most elucidating book on modern and traditional dialects of England.
- The Muvver Tongue, Robert Barltrop & Jim Wolveridge, The Journeyman Press, 1980.
An excellent, personal account of Cockney, the language, as the means of expression of the people and their culture. It elucidates what Cockney is, as much by showing us what it is not, and emphasizes the livingness of the language as opposed to the static renditions often portrayed in stories, shows and movies.
My favourite story from the book (concerning the Cockney silent h): "One Sunday morning some years ago I sat in a bus behind a man who had a little boy of about four in his lap. The child had a picture-alphabet book, and the father was explaining it carefully; when they came to h, the picture was of a hedgehog. The man said: ‘thats an edgeog. Its really two words, edge and og. They both start with h.".
- A Personal Kiwi-Yankee Slanguage Dictionary, Louis S. Leland Jr., John McIndoe Ltd, 51 Crawford Street, Dunedin, New Zealand 1980, 1987.
This explains NZ words and phrases. Designed to amuse and enlighten. It does the latter, and the difference between the two languages does the former anyway. This book is thorough and includes many explanatory details. Since a lot of NZ jargon comes from GB it complements the above, though it must be noted that it is mostly their own (and the Maoris).
- The New Hacker's Dictionary, Eric S. Raymond, The MIT Press 1991.
The definitive dictionary of the hacker culture jargon. Because of the particular peculiarities of the subject, namely computers, communications, and its self-containedness (until the 1990s), the compiled list of jargon terms has been subjected to real-time feedback and updating by the many thousands of computer folks. It has become a self-sustaining, real-time record of its own evolution which, again, by its nature (namely, new, unique, and very rapid), is also a glimpse of the process of language itself evolving.
|(alphabetical by author)|
- Ed. R. E. Allen, The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Eighth Edition, Clarendon OUP, 1990.
- Christine Ammer, The American heritage dictionary of Idioms, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997.
- Lars Andersson & Peter Trudgill, Bad Language, Blackwell, 1990, ISBN 0-631-17872-4.
- Robert Barltrop & Jim Wolveridge, The Muvver Tongue, The Journeyman Press, 1980 ISBN 0-904526-63-1.
- Elizabeth Bartsch-Parker, Dr Roibeard O'Maolalaigh, Stephen Burger, Lonely Planet British Phrasebook, Lonely Planet, August 1999.
- Henry Beard, Christopher Cerf, The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook, Villard Books, October 1993.
- Maria Carmela Betro, Hieroglyphics, Abbeville Press, 1996.
- Anthea Bickerton, American English · English American, Abson Books 1997
- Georges Bourcier, An Introduction to the History of the English Language, Stanley Thornes, 1981.
- Gyles Brandreth, The Joy of Lex, William Morrow & Co, April 1983.
- G. V. Carey, Mind the Stop: A Brief Guide to Punctuation, Penguin, (1939, 1958) 1976.
- Craig M. Carver, American Regional Dialects, A Word Geography, The University of Michigan Press, 1990, ISBN 0-472-10076-9 & 0-472-08103-9 pbk.
- J. C. Catford, A Practical Introduction to Phonetics, Clarendon Press, 1994.
- Robert L. Chapman, American Slang, 2nd Edition, HarperPerennial, 1995.
- John W. Clark, Eric Partridge, British & American English Since 1900, Greenwood Press, NY 1951, 1968.
- Collins Cobuild Dictionary of Idioms, HarperCollins, 1998.
- Collins Cobuild English Dictionary, HarperCollins, 1998.
- A Common Language, British & American English, BBC & Voice of America 1964.
- Michael C. Corballis, The Gestural Origins of Language, American Scientist, March-April 1999 87 2.
- Colleen Cotter (Editor), Sally Steward, Lonely Planet USA Phrasebook: Understanding Americans & Their Culture, 2nd edition, Lonely Planet, August 2001.
- David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of The English Language, Cambridge University Press 1995 ISBN 0 521 40179 8.
- David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, Cambridge University Press, 1987 ISBN 0-521-42443-7.
- David Crystal, The English Language: A guided tour of the language by the presenter of BBC Radio 4's English Now, Penguin 1990 ISBN 0-14-013532-4.
- Christopher Davies, Jason Murphy, Divided by a Common Language, Mayflower Press, January 1998.
- Mike Etherington, The Very Best of British, Effingpot Productions, September 2000.
- William Quinby de Funiak, The American-British British-American Dictionary with Helpful Hints to Travelers, A.S. Barnes & Co, 1963, 1978.
- William N. Gallard & L. Amanda Smith, Anglo-American American-Anglo, Water Lane Publishing Co, 1984.
- Alan H. Gardiner, The Egyptian Origin of the Semitic Alphabet, The Journal of Egyptian Archeology, Vol III, 1916.
- Albertine Gaur, A History of Writing, Abbeville Press, 1997.
- Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Slang, Cassell, 1998,
- John Grimond, The Economist Style Guide, The Economist, 1997.
- David Grote, British English for American Readers. A Dictionary of the Language, Customs, and Places of British Life and Literature, Greenwood Press, 1992, ISBN 0-313-27851-2.
- Orin Hargraves, Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions: Making Sense of Transatlantic English, Oxford University Press, November 2002.
- H. W. Horwill, An Anglo-American Interpreter A Vocabulary and Phrase book, The Folcroft Press 1939 (1970).
- Ewart James, Editor, NTC's Dictionary of British Slang and Colloquial Expressions, NTC Publishing Group, November 1996.
- Gordon Jarvie, Good Punctuation Guide, Chambers, 1992.
- Elizabeth Knowles, The Oxford Dictionary of New Words, OUP, 1998.
- Chester L. Krause & Clifford Mishler, Colin R. Bruce II, Editor, 1993 Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1993, Krause Publications, ISBN 0-87341-187-0.
- Louis S. Leland Jr., A Personal Kiwi-Yankee Slanguage Dictionary, John McIndoe Ltd, 51 Crawford Street, Dunedin, New Zealand 1980, 1987.
- John Man, alpha beta, Wiley, 2000.
- Ed. A. S. Maney & R. L. Smallwood, MHRA Style Book, Modern Humanities Research Association, 1971.
- Ed. Tom MCArthur, The Oxford Companion to the English Language, OUP, 1992.
- Catherine MCCormick, British: British-American American-British, Hippocrene Books, 1996.
- Robert MCCrum, William Cran, Robert McNeil, The Story of English, A companion to the PBS television series, Viking Press 1986, ISBN 0-670-80467-3.
- Roger Mellie, Roger's Profanisaurus, Viz 2002.
- Margaret Moore, Understanding British English, Citadel Press 1989.
- Norman Moss, British/American Language Dictionary, Passport Books (1973) 1984.
- Eric Partridge, A Dictionary of Historical Slang, Penguin, 1972.
- Eric Partridge, Origins, Greenwich House, 1983. [My first stop for etymology.]
- E J Perkins, American English English American, A Domino Book (1997) 1998.
- Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct, William Morrow, 1994.
- Eric S. Raymond, The New Hacker's Dictionary, The MIT Press 1991, ISBN 0-262-68069-6.
- Andrew Robinson, Lost Languages, McGraw-Hill, 2002.
- Andrew Robinson, The Story of Writing, Thames & Hudson, 1995.
- Norman W. Schur, British Self Taught: with Comments in American, Macmillan Company 1973.
- Norman W. Schur, revised by Eugene Ehrlich, British English A to Zed, Checkmark Books 2001.
- John Seely, The Oxford Guide to Writing and Speaking, OUP, 1998.
- Roger W. Shuy, Discovering American Dialects, National Council of Teachers of English, 1967.
- Peter Streven, British and American English, Collier-Macmillan 1972 .
- M Tracey, English for Americans with a sense of humour, White-Boucke.
- Peter Trudgill, The Dialects of England, Blackwell, 1990, ISBN 0-631-13917-6.
- Peter Trudgill & Jean Hannah, International English, 3rd edition, Routledge, Chapman, Hall, 1994.
- Peter Trudgill, Language in the British Isles, Cambridge University Press, June 1984.
- Websters Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, Merriam-Webster, 1993.
- Welcome to Britain, Whitehall Press 1971.