"Let there be light"; "A fly in the ointment"; "New wine in old bottles"; "How are the mighty fallen"; "The salt of the earth"—all of these phrases owe their popularity to the King James Bible. Indeed, it is said that this document has contributed more to the color and grace of the English language than almost any other literary source. Here language expert David Crystal offers a stimulating tour of the verbal richness and scope of King James, with fascinating discussions of such phrases as "the skin of one's teeth" and "out of the mouth of babes," tracing how these memorable lines have found independent life in the work of poets, playwrights, novelists, politicians, journalists, and even advertisers.
"Crystal is rightly known as a highly engaging author and one of the few linguists with a true talent for explaining highly abstract subject matter in a way that is comprehensible and enjoyable for a general readership."—Linguist List