Words in Time: A Social History of the English Vocabulary

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Basil Blackwell, 1989 - Reference - 270 pages
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The word blurb derives from a pulchritudinous young lady of that fictional name who appeared on a book-cover at the turn of the century. Quarrying the Oxford English Dictionary for its evidence, this book traces the extraordinary way in which English words have changed their meanings over the past millennium. These shifts both reflect Britain's rich history and reveal the social determinants of the language.

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About the author (1989)

Geoffrey Hughes is Professor of the History of the English Language at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. A graduate of Oxford University, he has held academic and research posts at Cape Town, Harvard and Turin. His main interests are in historical semantics and sociolinguistics on which he has written over twenty papers and two books, "Words in Time" (Blackwell, 1988) and "Swearing" (Blackwell, 1991). He is a consultant for the Collins Dictionaries on South African English and has been editor of the journal "English Studies" in Africa.

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