It’s been a while since Word Stories’ last post but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been linguisticking. In fact, last week I returned to my old university haunts to celebrate the linguistics and English language department’s 40th birthday. Alumni and current staff were invited to a two day event full of talks (very interesting), academics performing in a rock band (bizarre) and two buffets with free wine (whoop!).
Part of the event was a guest lecture by David and Hilary Crystal about ‘How to be an English language tourist’. The idea behind it was that history buffs can visit museums and castles, geography fans can go to volcanoes or glaciers but where do us English language nerds go? The location of the first printing press, that’s where. And the first known example of an English word, written on a deer bone. And the fifty or so other places the Crystals visited during their bout of language tourism.
Anyway, I bought the book and got a photo and in the future, I’ll be taking Word Stories on a few more language adventures by visiting some of the places David and Hilary recommend and, of course, providing a dash of etymology to go with it.