Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 30 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

Scoring the language game

Roy Harris, 15 October 1981

Language and Linguistics: An Introduction 
by John Lyons.
Cambridge, 356 pp., £15, June 1981, 0 521 23034 9
Show More
Show More
... Language is one of those subjects on which it is almost impossible nowadays to say anything worth saying which is not highly controversial. That is why it takes a brave man like Professor Lyons to attempt a book which, in less than four hundred pages, aims to provide a ‘general introduction to linguistics and the study of language, intended particularly for beginning students and readers with no previous knowledge of or training in the subject ...

The Englishness of English

Roy Harris, 6 November 1980

Studies in English Linguistics for Randolph Quirk 
edited by Sidney Greenbaum and Jan Svartvik.
Longman, 304 pp., £18, September 1980, 0 582 55079 3
Show More
Show More
... England has never had an official body equivalent to the Académic Française or the Italian Accademia della Crusca. And that is no accident. For the Englishman has scant respect for experts, of whatever kind. Telling Englishmen what they ought to do for their own good has been a hazardous enterprise throughout history. But a permanent committee to tell them how they ought to use their own native language would be an institutionalised insult ...

All my eye and Betty Martin

Roy Harris, 1 December 1983

A Dictionary of Mottoes 
by L.G. Pine.
Routledge, 303 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 9780710093394
Show More
Newspeak: A Dictionary of Jargon 
by Jonathon Green.
Routledge, 263 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 0 7100 9685 2
Show More
The Oxford Miniguide to English Usage 
by E.S.C. Weiner.
Oxford, 412 pp., £1.95, October 1983, 0 19 869127 0
Show More
The Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English: Volume II 
by A.P. Cowrie, R. Mackin and I.R. McCaig.
Oxford, 685 pp., £12.50, October 1983, 0 19 431150 3
Show More
A Dictionary of the Teenage Revolution and its Aftermath 
by Kenneth Hudson.
Macmillan, 203 pp., £12.95, October 1983, 0 333 28517 4
Show More
A Dictionary of Catch-Phrases 
by Eric Partridge.
Routledge, 278 pp., £5.95, October 1983, 0 7100 9989 4
Show More
Show More
... Lexicographical apparatus, as Walter Ong recently reminded us in Orality and Literacy, was ‘a very late accretion to language as language’. It was also quite a profitable accretion for at least two classes of language-user: printers and publishers. It still is, to judge by the way dictionaries continue to proliferate. One gets the impression that the dictionary industry has rarely been in finer fettle since the invention of alphabetical order ...

From Adam to Aarsleff

Roy Harris, 19 August 1982

From Locke to Saussure: Essays on the Study of Language and Intellectual History 
by Hans Aarsleff.
Athlone, 422 pp., £18, May 1982, 9780485300017
Show More
Show More
... The modest title of Hans Aarsleff’s book From Locke to Saussure conceals, among other things, the fact that it goes a long way beyond Saussure. Its implications reach right down to linguistic controversies which continue unabated at the present day. The 14 essays presented in this volume undoubtedly include what must, by any standards, rank among the most stimulating writing on language and European thought to have been published during the past quarter of a century ...

What was meant by what was said

Roy Harris, 20 September 1984

Language, Sense and Nonsense 
by G.P. Baker and P.M.S. Hacker.
Blackwell, 397 pp., £22.50, April 1984, 0 631 13519 7
Show More
Show More
... The picture on the dust-jacket of Language, Sense and Nonsense is a 17th-century allegory by Laurent de la Hire. It shows Grammar as a lady seriously engaged in watering some rather spindly potted plants. In her left hand she holds what looks like a very long tape-measure, bearing the words vox litterata et articulata debito modo pronuntiata ...

Mizzled

Roy Harris, 21 February 1985

Longman Dictionary of the English Language 
by Randolph Quirk.
Longman, 1875 pp., £14.95, October 1984, 0 582 55511 6
Show More
The Private Lives of English Words 
by Louis Heller, Alexander Humez and Malcah Dror.
Routledge, 333 pp., £12.95, May 1984, 0 7102 0006 4
Show More
The Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words 
by Bill Bryson.
Viking, 173 pp., £7.95, April 1984, 0 7139 1653 2
Show More
The Origins of English Words: A Discursive Dictionary of Indo-European Roots 
by Joseph Shipley.
Johns Hopkins, 637 pp., $39.95, May 1984, 0 8018 3004 4
Show More
A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English 
by Eric Partidge and Paul Beale.
Routledge, 1400 pp., £45, May 1984, 0 7100 9820 0
Show More
Show More
... On 10 May 1933 an undergraduate at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, wrote in her diary a description of the clothes she was wearing on that sultry summer’s day. The description includes the phrase blue celanese trollies. The diary entry in question was not published until 1984, by which time the diarist, Barbara Pym, had become a cult figure in English literary circles ...

Where structuralism comes from

John Sturrock, 2 February 1984

Course in General Linguistics 
by Ferdinand de Saussure, translated by Roy Harris.
Duckworth, 236 pp., £24, March 1983, 0 7156 1738 9
Show More
Semiotic Perspectives 
by Sandor Hervey.
Allen and Unwin, 273 pp., £15, September 1982, 9780044000266
Show More
Show More
... and Literature, and finally, after 1907, professor of General Linguistics. His translator, Roy Harris, is also a professor of General Linguistics, at Oxford, having earlier been professor of Romance Languages there. He is Oxford’s first professor of General Linguistics, not because he has occupied that chair for an indecently long time but ...

Language Questions

Barbara Strang, 17 July 1980

The Language-Makers 
by Roy Harris.
Duckworth, 194 pp., £15, April 1980, 0 7156 1430 4
Show More
Beyond the Letter: A Philosophical Inquiry Into Ambiguity, Vagueness and Metaphor in Language 
by Israel Scheffler.
Routledge, 146 pp., £8.50, November 1979, 0 7100 0315 3
Show More
Linguistic Perspectives on Literature 
edited by Marvin Ching, Michael Haley and Ronald Lunsford.
Routledge, 332 pp., £9.50, March 1980, 9780710003829
Show More
Show More
... Professor Roy Harris’s The Language Makers is the natural starting-point. His book comes oddly naked into the world: we have no statement about the aims or intended audience, no listing or titling (let alone running titles) of chapters, only the sketchiest of indexes to suggest what topics have been covered ...

Linguistics demythologised

Michael Dummett, 19 August 1982

The Language Myth 
by Roy Harris.
Duckworth, 212 pp., £18, August 1981, 0 7156 1528 9
Show More
Show More
... a fixed coding of ideas into sounds or written signs. These are somewhat inelegantly labelled by Harris the ‘telementational’ and the ‘determinacy’ fallacies respectively. His characterisation of the determinacy fallacy rapidly introduces a second strand: the combination of words into sentences. The fallacy involves attributing to the speaker of a ...

Good enough for Jesus

Charlotte Brewer, 25 January 1990

The State of the Language: 1990 Edition 
edited by Christopher Ricks and Leonard Michaels.
Faber, 531 pp., £17.50, January 1990, 9780571141821
Show More
Clichés and Coinages 
by Walter Redfern.
Blackwell, 305 pp., £17.50, October 1989, 0 631 15691 7
Show More
Rhetoric: The Wit of Persuasion 
by Walter Nash.
Blackwell, 241 pp., £25, October 1989, 0 631 16754 4
Show More
Show More
... The last section, ‘Rectitudes’, takes us into the area of explicit public debate on language. Roy Harris investigates swear-words and their place in those ‘litmus-paper areas of British culture’, poetry and cricket, in a discussion of the controversy which surrounded the reporting of two major linguistic events of the Eighties: the broadcasting ...

Alternative Tories

José Harris, 23 April 1987

Baldwin 
by Roy Jenkins.
Collins, 204 pp., £12.95, March 1987, 9780002175869
Show More
Rab: The Life of R.A. Butler 
by Anthony Howard.
Cape, 422 pp., £15, March 1987, 0 224 01862 0
Show More
The Political Culture of Modern Britain: Studies in Memory of Stephen Koss 
edited by J.M.W. Bean.
Hamish Hamilton, 306 pp., £15, January 1987, 0 241 12026 8
Show More
Show More
... of government that was largely incomprehensible to the world of geopolitics and the welfare state. Roy Jenkins himself belongs pre-eminently to the school of state intervention, but it is one of the virtues of his new study of Baldwin that he manages to recapture and make sense of some if not all of that now-vanished past. He portrays Baldwin as ...

Babylon

William Rodgers, 30 March 1989

European Diary 1977-1981 
by Roy Jenkins.
Collins, 698 pp., £25, March 1989, 0 00 217976 8
Show More
Show More
... was summoned across Whitehall from my office in the Ministry of Defence to see the Home Secretary. Roy Jenkins rose from his chair and said: ‘Well, it’s all over, Callaghan is appointing Crosland.’ He nodded to a handwritten envelope addressed to the President of the French Republic. I knew that it contained a letter declaring his willingness to become ...

Who whom?

Christopher Ricks, 6 June 1985

The English Language Today 
edited by Sidney Greenbaum.
Pergamon, 345 pp., £12.50, December 1984, 0 08 031078 8
Show More
The English Language 
by Robert Burchfield.
Oxford, 194 pp., £9.50, January 1985, 9780192191731
Show More
A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language 
by Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech and Jan Svartvik.
Longman, 1779 pp., £39.50, May 1985, 0 582 51734 6
Show More
Words 
by John Silverlight.
Macmillan, 107 pp., £17.50, May 1985, 9780333380109
Show More
Faux Amis and Key Words: A Dictionary-Guide to French Language, Culture and Society through Lookalikes and Confusables 
by Philip Thody, Howard Evans and Gwilym Rees.
Athlone, 224 pp., £16, February 1985, 0 485 11243 4
Show More
Puns 
by Walter Redfern.
Blackwell, 234 pp., £14.95, October 1984, 0 631 13793 9
Show More
Fair of Speech: The Uses of Euphemism 
edited by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 222 pp., £9.95, April 1985, 0 19 212236 3
Show More
Show More
... there is a regular attempt to palliate the charge. It is a pity even to seem to be agreeing with Roy Harris, who not only does not believe that ... but doesn’t believe in most things (dictionaries, for example), but I judge him right to have insisted (LRB, 21 February 1985) that the Quirk-based Longman Dictionary is prescriptive, and that it only ...

Upper Ireland

Nicholas Canny, 16 March 1989

Modern Ireland 1600-1972 
by R.F. Foster.
Allen Lane, 688 pp., £18.95, October 1988, 0 7139 9010 4
Show More
Show More
... histories of Ireland seems insatiable and sales can match those of a moderately successful novel. Roy Foster’s Modern Ireland has exceeded such expectations. It has recorded sales in excess of 12,000 hardback copies on the Irish market alone since its publication in October 1988. Such an astonishing success is richly deserved. Foster’s book is the most ...

Dropping Their Eggs

Patrick Wright: The history of bombing, 23 August 2001

A History of Bombing 
by Sven Lindqvist, translated by Linda Haverty Rugg.
Granta, 233 pp., £14.99, May 2001, 1 86207 415 1
Show More
The Bomber War: Arthur Harris and the Allied Bomber Offensive 1939-45 
by Robin Niellands.
Murray, 448 pp., £25, February 2001, 0 7195 5637 6
Show More
Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War 
by Frances FitzGerald.
Touchstone, 592 pp., $17, March 2001, 0 7432 0023 3
Show More
Show More
... Mullah’ of Somaliland, who was bombed into submission within a week. Arthur (Bomber) Harris was a squadron leader in the Third Afghan war of 1919, and pioneered the strategy of ‘control without occupation’ in Iraq, which entailed sprinkling fire on straw-roofed huts: ‘within forty-five minutes,’ ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences