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Girl with Her Head in a Book

Written with the energy of the true enthusiast which made it a lively and entertaining read.

Bill endures various mishaps along the way; as a fellow sufferer, I also understood how disappointing it is to go into a French shop armed with one's preprepared phrases only for the shop assistant to say, "Good morning" in a flawless accent. I really felt for him when he went to visit his French penfriend only to have to spend the whole time talking in English to her fiancé because neither of them could understand his French. As well as working on his own linguistic progress, Bill also muses on the nature of language and indeed of the French people. I was fascinated to discover that the phrase 'cease and desist' comes from the Norman invasion of Britain. The French word was 'cease' and the English word was 'desist' so by putting the two together, authorities could be certain that everybody understood what was meant. There are many fascinating nuggets such as this one. [Read the full review]