The Mother Tongue - Chapter 5 Where Words Come From Summary & Analysis

Bill Bryson
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Chapter 5 Where Words Come From Summary and Analysis

Bryson begins his exploration of English vocabulary, including the many gaps that exist in the English language. At the same time, he shows the wealth of synonyms that allow a speaker to express their own class status in addition to the range of their vocabulary. In addition, Bryson points out words that have multiple meanings, including the most striking example being the word "fine," which can be used in many, often unrelated, ways. In order to explain how English develops the complex vocabulary it has today, Bryson posits several overall ways that new words are created and become part of the language.

Bryson first examines the category of words that are created by error. In these cases, word formation comes from some misunderstanding. Some words result from the mishearing of a word that...

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This section contains 678 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Mother Tongue Study Guide
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