Why can we fall in love but not in hate?
What do codswallop and poppycock share?
Why not one house and two hice?
How come we scream blue murder, sing the blues and turn the air blue?
In GIFT OF THE GOB Professor of Linguistics Kate Burridge explores our language and the everlasting tug-of-love that exists between 'proper' English and its wayward relation slang. She investigates the place where all that is 'wrong', 'bad' or 'sloppy' slips into everyday use, before becoming 'proper' in its turn!
Join Kate on a fascinating journey through English language history, as she untangles words and their meanings, and unearths the centuries of spectacular changes that have transformed the very core of our language.
Based on segments from ABC Radio's SOUNDBANK and ABC TV's CAN WE HELP?, this book has been inspired by the linguistic shenanigans of the general public.
These mouth-filling morsels of English language history demonstrate the poetic ingenuity of common language, and celebrate its remarkable inventiveness.