The Last Word

The Last Word : Tales from the Tip of the Mother Tongue

4 (58 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


Do you know your geek-speak from your geek-chic? Ever wanted to put Humpty Dumpty together again? Can you distinguish Spanglish from Chinglish? We adapt words from other languages, from slang, from developments in science, literature and art. Learn the advantages of having your own signature word; why the lifts in the House of Commons have posh accents; and, discover the discreet art of the loophemism. Witty and utterly delightful, "The Last Word" will tease, tickle and tantalise those who enjoy all things lexical.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 28mm | 222.26g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • B&W Inserts
  • 1408804352
  • 9781408804353
  • 282,656

About Ben Macintyre

Ben Macintyre is a columnist and Associate Editor on The Times. He has worked as the newspaper's correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He is the author of six previous books including Agent Zigzag, which was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award and the Galaxy British Book Award for Biography of the Year 2008. He lives in London with his wife and three children.
show more

Review quote

'A sprinkling of delightful nuggets about the uses and abuses of the English language' Daily Telegraph Books of the Year 'After reading The Last Word you may feel compelled to tell a "fib" - a poem whose syllables follow the Fibonacci sequence - one of myriad delights in Ben Macintyre's musings on language. Discover the accidental poetry of e-mail spam and the literary joy of peculiar cricketing terms' The Times Books of the Year 'Macintyre is simply a splendidly well-read man ... These pieces come up fresh and even wiser, and all the better for being so collated' Observer
show more

Rating details

58 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 36% (21)
4 34% (20)
3 22% (13)
2 7% (4)
1 0% (0)

Our customer reviews

This series of columns about the language in its many forms made very nice reading. Informative, in parts hilarious, sometimes thought-provoking pieces contain a large number of facts and factoids concerning various foreign tongues. One detail, especially, I feel obliged to comment on: in the bit about the @ sign, the Author claims Polish people call it 'kotek', i.e. 'a kitten'. As a native speaker of Polish I know for a fact that my fellow Poles have never done so, even when drunk into linguistic oblivion. Hopefully, that is just one inaccuracy in the plethora of similar details, but I'd double check before propagating any of them further. To end on a positive note: the piece on blurbs was simply more
by blazej aksamitek
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X