David Crystal

David Crystal
David Crystal
  • Born: July 6, 1941
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Educator

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David Crystal, OBE, FBA, FLSW, FCIL is a British linguist, academic and author.

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A feature of English that makes it different compared with all other languages is its global spread.
Academics don't normally manage to alter people's way of thinking through their strength of argument.
Although many texters enjoy breaking linguistic rules, they also know they need to be understood.
Anyone interested in language ends up writing about the sociological issues around it.
As I get older and I get a few more years experience I become more like Dad, you know, King Lear. Families, Children & Parenting
At any one time language is a kaleidoscope of styles, genres and dialects. Time
At the same time we overlap, because, I do linguistics, and Ben did a first degree in Linguistics at Lancaster University, so he knows some of my subject. Time
English has been this vacuum cleaner of a language, because of its history meeting up with the Romans and then the Danes, the Vikings and then the French and then the Renaissance with all the Latin and Greek and Hebrew in the background. History
Ever since the arrival of printing - thought to be the invention of the devil because it would put false opinions into people's minds - people have been arguing that new technology would have disastrous consequences for language. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
It hasn't been a problem with Ben, I think we worked together very well, we don't have rows.
It took three years to put Shakespeare's words together, there were a lot of words to be studied and a lot of words to be sorted out, and it proved to be a major project.
Language has no independent existence apart from the people who use it. It is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end of understanding who you are and what society is like. Society
Likewise, there is no evidence that texting teaches people to spell badly: rather, research shows that those kids who text frequently are more likely to be the most literate and the best spellers, because you have to know how to manipulate language.
Sending a message on a mobile phone is not the most natural of ways to communicate. The keypad isn't linguistically sensible.
Spellings are made by people. Dictionaries - eventually - reflect popular choices.
Text messaging is just the most recent focus of people's anxiety; what people are really worried about is a new generation gaining control of what they see as their language.
Texting has added a new dimension to language use, but its long-term impact is negligible. It is not a disaster.
The story of English spelling is the story of thousands of people - some well-known, most totally unknown - who left a permanent linguistic fingerprint on our orthography.
Vocabulary is a matter of word-building as well as word-using.
Word books traditionally focus on unusual and quirky items. They tend to ignore the words that provide the skeleton of the language, without which it would fall apart, such as 'and' and 'what,' or words that provide structure to our conversation, such as 'hello.'
You don't talk to a linguist without having what you say taken down and used in evidence against you at some point in time. Time

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