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The Life of Guy By Allan Metcalf (Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, MacMurray College)

The Life of Guy
by Allan Metcalf (Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, MacMurray College)

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The Life of Guy Summary


The Life of Guy: Guy Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot, and the Unlikely History of an Indispensable Word by Allan Metcalf (Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, MacMurray College)

Had you said "What a guy!" in 17th-century England, anyone would have understood you were admiring a flaming effigy of Guy Fawkes of the Gunpowder Treason Plot. How times have changed! In America and, indeed, most of the English-speaking world, "guy" is so embedded in daily speech that we scarcely notice how odd it truly is: a singular "guy" referring to males only, a plural "guys" encompassing the entire human race. The journey from England's greatest villain to America's favorite second-person plural pronoun offers a story rich with surprising and unprecedented turns. Through his trademark breezy, highly readable style, acclaimed writer Allan Metcalf takes us deep into this history, uncovering the intrigue, murderous plots, and torture out of which the word emerged in 1605. From there, it's a thrilling run through 17th-century England, bloody religious controversies, and across the Atlantic to America, where the word took on a life of its own, exploding into popular culture and day-to-day conversation. From the disappearance of <"thou,>" to George Washington and the American Revolution, to the modern revival of Guy Fawkes in V for Vendetta, Metcalf explores the improbable history of a simple word so indispensable to our daily lives, and that evokes deep insights into the evolution of English itself.

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The Life of Guy Reviews



"The Life of Guy is the story of attempted regime change leading to language change, as Allan Metcalf puts it pithily. It starts with a riveting history of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot that almost destroyed the monarchy and Parliament of England. It ends with guy's evolution into arguably one of the most important words in the English language-a subject pronoun. Along the way, we learn about strange British traditions like burning "the Guy," how English lost thou, its informal, intimate way to say you, and how you guys, y'all, and yinz are battling for second-person plural supremacy. A great read!"--Melissa Mohr, author of Holy Sh*t


"A fascinating story-an intriguing blend of history and linguistics."--David Crystal, University of Wales, Bangor, and author of Making Sense and The Story of Be


"It all began with a guy named Guy--Guy Fawkes--who, among other Roman Catholic provocateurs, attempted to blow up the House of Lords, while the Protestant king, James I, was in the House, when Parliament opened on November 5, 1605. So, the story of guy begins. Allan Metcalf, with characteristic expertise, clarity, and wit, starts there and tells guy's incredible story. I liked it and learned a lot from it. I think you guys will, too."--Michael Adams, Indiana University, and author of Slayer Slang and In Praise of Profanity


"Did you ever wonder why 'guys' means just about anyone as long as there's more than one? As Allan Metcalf writes, language change is "miraculous". This book cracks open the mystery of why and how. You guys will have the most interesting cocktail party conversation going with this story!"--Sali A. Tagliamonte, University of Toronto


"The Life of Guy is a charming little book, glancing at some things deep under the surface of language. You guys might want to give it a look" --John McIntyre; The Baltimore Sun


About Allan Metcalf (Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, MacMurray College)


Allan Metcalf is Professor of English at MacMurray College, former executive secretary of the American Dialect Society, a forensic linguist, and author of OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word (Oxford University Press, 2012) as well as six other books on language.

Table of Contents


Introduction Chapter 1: The Miracle Chapter 2: Religion Gets a Divorce Chapter 3: Guy Fawkes Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guy Fawkes Chapter 5: First Bonfire Days Chapter 6: Gunpowder Days in England: The Pope and the Guy Chapter 7: Pope Night in America: Deconstructing Guy in the New World Chapter 8: Thou art gone, except in Quaker prayer, leaving gap in second person pronoun. Chapter 9: You Guys Chapter 10: Villain Becomes Hero: The Modern Guy Fawkes Chapter 11: Present Day Chapter 12: The Future of Guys

Additional information

GOR010227923
The Life of Guy: Guy Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot, and the Unlikely History of an Indispensable Word by Allan Metcalf (Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, MacMurray College)
Allan Metcalf (Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, Professor of English and Executive Secretary (CAO) of the American Dialect Society, MacMurray College)
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Oxford University Press Inc
2019-09-16
176
0190669209
9780190669201
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.