See also: English as a Second Language.
Selected Books, CDs and DVDs
So you want to become an actor? These CDs will help you get the accent right, with emphasis on creation of proper resonance, rhythm, pitch and stress traits, and vowel pronunciations. There are different CDs for each accent, both American dialects (Boston, Texan) and foreign (Italian, Arabic).
(DVD) PE1075.A42 2009x
In this 8 part British documentary TV series, Melvyn Bragg hosts a panel of experts that explore the 1,500-year history of the English language examining its growth from a relatively insignificant Germanic dialect to the premier language of culture, commerce, and diplomacy around the globe.
The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language
This is the companion book to "The Adventure of English" documentary TV Series (above)
The Stories of English
British linguist Crystal traces the history of Standard English and then he recounts the stories of marginalized regional dialects, vernaculars and other "nonstandard" English, including Middle Earth English.
A Dictionary of Modern English Usage
Oxford University Press has republished the original first edition of Fowler's classic, enhanced with a new introduction by David Crystal, who also examines nearly 300 entries in detail, offers a modern perspective on them, and shows how English has changed since the 1920s.
The History of the English Language
(CD) PE1075.L469 2008x pt. 1, 2, 3
Also available on DVD
This audiobook/DVD is part of the Great Courses Lecture Series and presents lectures on the history of the English language by Professor Seth Lerer at Stanford University. The first part deals with the beginning of English up to Middle English. The second part deals with Shakespeare and the development of Standard English. The last part deals with American English.
Inventing English: A Portable History of the Language
Lerer explains how English has always been a changing language and shows how certain authors, such as Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Mark Twain, had great influence on how it developed.
The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of 'Proper' English, from Shakespeare to South Park
English is fifteen hundred years old but our notions of "proper English" are only around three hundred years old. Lynch traces who came up with the current "rules".
Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language
Learn more about Globish, a basic English using only 1500 words created by Jean-Paul Nerriere for use globally, correct English without the English culture.
The Story of English
PE1075.M58 2003 (3rd Edition)
Originally written in tandem with a 1986 TV series (produced by Cran and hosted by MacNeil) and updated in 1992, this introduction to the leading global language traces its evolution, varieties, and debates over its future.
Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English
A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar: Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all?
Introduces the form of English spoken and written in England until the twelfth century, teaching vocabulary and grammar via original texts including poems, prose, and historical documents. You never know when it might come in handy!
For additional titles, browse the library catalog under the subjects:
- English Language
- English Language Dictionaries
- English language -- Composition and exercises
- English Language -- Etymology
- English Language -- Examinations
- English Language -- Grammar
- English language -- History
- English language -- Old English, ca. 450-1100
- English Language -- Middle English, 1100-1500
- English language -- Early modern, 1500-1700
- English language -- Orthography and spelling
- English Language -- Phonetics
- English language -- Rhetoric (Writing)
- English language -- Study and teaching
- English Language -- Synonyms And Antonyms
- English Language -- Terms And Phrases
- English Language -- Textbooks For Foreign Speakers
- English Language -- Usage
Words and Vocabulary
BBC Routes of English
A series of programs on English dialects
Globish is a basic English using only 1500 words that was created by Jean-Paul Nerriere for use globally, so that everyone could learn it quickly and easily.
Not only the dictionary, but cool informations about words. You can also learn a word a day.
Test your ability to create words.
- Scrabble Sprint
OneLook Dictionary: the faster finder
12,960,939 words in 973 dictionaries indexed. A great source of links to other online dictionaries.
This is the website for the Oxford family of dictionaries from England. You can sign up for a word-a-day and look up a word.
National Spelling Bee
Information on the Scripps national Spelling Bee with results and study tips.
Schott’s Vocab is a repository of unconsidered lexicographical trifles — some serious, others frivolous, some neologized, others newly newsworthy compiled by the New York Times columnist Ben Schott. Each day, Schott's Vocab explores news sites around the world to find words and phrases that encapsulate the times in which we live or shed light on a story of note.
Check at this official worldwide scrabble website to see if a word qualifies in scrabble (for instance, "er"). It also includes a "word builder": input the tiles that you have and word builder will suggest possible words.
The Word Detective
"The Word Detective on the Web is the online version of "The Word Detective", a newspaper column answering readers' questions about words and language. "The Word Detective" is written by Evan Morris and appears in finer newspapers in the U.S., Mexico and Japan."
The Word Spy
This Web site and its associated mailing list are devoted to recently coined words and phrases, old words that are being used in new ways, and existing words that have enjoyed a recent renaissance.
World Wide Words
Learn about brand new words, how words and phrases came about, find out what words in the news mean. International English from a British viewpoint by Michael Quinion, an author and lexicographer.
Need a dictionary? Look here for a wide selection.
Bartleby.com: English Usage, Style & Composition
A collection of classic works on English.
Elements of Style (1918) by William Strunk Jr.
good points to remember when writing (like one paragraph to each topic; begin each paragraph with a topic sentence; end it in conformity with the beginning)
The King's English
by H.W. Fowler, 2nd ed. 1908. A classic work from Columbia University's Bartleby Library with such hints as
"Prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched.
Prefer the concrete word to the abstract.
Prefer the single word to the circumlocution.
Prefer the short word to the long.
Prefer the Saxon word to the Romance."
- Elements of Style (1918) by William Strunk Jr.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Spelling Bee
An annual oral competition in spelling held each March for students in 8th grade or lower.