Saturday, November 16, 2013

English Bites!

Having studied in institutes that taught in English all through, I held high opinions about my grip on the language. That is, until I read "English Bites!" by Manish Gupta. 

Some of my classmates in college did not know English well, and I have seen them struggle with the language. I can identify the difficulty in studying and conversing when you do not know the language. This book starts from a similar background - it is the author's own journey from not knowing English at all to knowing the language inside out?

As children, you too may have wondered how strange a language English is - Why is CUT and PUT pronounced differently? Why is the P silent in PSYCHOLOGY? Where is the vowel in RHYTHM? Similar questions may have come to your young mind, but you had to accept these idiosyncracies and move on in life.

Manish, however, is not someone who would let go. While he learnt the language, he would dig up the etymology of each word, forms sentences or phrases to remember their meanings, finds out different ways one can use a word, what its synonyms and acronyms were, and whatever possible was there about a word!

He has compiled all his findings in this book, and narrated it in the form of a hilarious tale. There are notes and sometimes exercises for those who want to learn more. Read the book slowly, and you would enjoy it immensely. If you try to rush through it, it'll appear like an English word book. 

Unless you are a facuty or student of English, you would find in this book words you had learnt once upon a time but have forgotten due to unuse, words whose exact meaning you dont know but have guessed from the usage and words you absolutely haven't come across. Even if you are someone whose life revolves around English, there would be something in this book for you to discover!

In my childhood, my Granny used to advice me to note down new words in a copy whenever I learnt one. Needless to say, I did not do any such thing. This book appeared like a job done to me!

I will give full five stars to this book, for it achieves its purpose to the hilt. My Dad also read this book, and loved it much more than I did!

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