1. Four Lions - a film to be released later this year
2. Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson - a history of the English language
3. A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz - a novel
I am incredibly excited about Four Lions, a new comedy film from Chris Morris.
In case you've not heard of him before, Chris Morris is the guy who brought us the Brass Eye paedophile special and Jam, so it's not too surprising that the subject of Four Lions is also a little dark. I have to admit that when I found out the film was going to be about Muslim terrorists, I was a little uncertain, but this clip from the film suggests that it's going to be a very funny film indeed.
I just finished reading Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson, which was utterly fascinating. I could hardly put it down!
In the book, Mr. Bryson gives a potted history of the English language, including many interesting fact, such as:
- 'merchant', was apparently once pronounced 'marchant', and that, back in the day, most words containing 'er' were pronounced with the 'ar' sound. Nowadays, it's only words like 'clerk' and 'Hertfordshire' that are still pronounced that way.
- 'see you next tuesday' never used to be considered very offensive at all, and was used about a million times by Chaucer in his Canterbury tales (how filthy of you, Chaucer! I hope you wash your mouth out with soap and water!)
The problem is, the book only really skims the surface; I'd love to read more about the history of the language, but I don't know where to start looking D: D: D:
The other problem is that the book was written about 20 years ago, so it's quite dated now. NOT ONCE DOES IT MENTION THE EFFECT THE INTERNET HAS HAD ON THE USE OF ENGLISH. Which is a shame, as lolspeak is clearly the mightiest achievement in English to date.
I also just finished reading A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz. Thanks for lending it to me, Herr. Forward!
It didn't necessarily make me feel good while reading it, but the story was certainly interesting. Most of the time, I felt compelled to find out what was going to happen next, even if I didn't actually want to. And the turns of phrase that he uses are really quite novel and interesting. I loved the part where he was describing a boy with rather delicate features by saying that 'he had a face like a pianist's hand'. Awesome.