What Makes English into Art?

Lesley Jeffries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines what is special about the way English is used in poetry, novels, plays, stories, songs and various kinds of live performance, which makes them into a form of art. It discusses the way artistic uses of English are shaped both by the contexts in which they are created and by the contexts in which they are received. In English verse, the most frequently occurring rhyme is the ‘end rhyme’: units at the end of metrical lines have identical stretches of sound from the vowel to the end of the word, with the initial sound varied; for example, sight/night. Some writers make a particular feature of breaking the rules of English morphology and syntax. More recently, there has been a considerable increase in the number and range of writers who feel free to use their own variety or some other non-standard variety of English for characters’ voices, or even for whole poems and novels.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRedesigning English
EditorsSharon Goodman, David Graddol, Theresa Lillis
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9781003060574
ISBN (Print)9780415376891, 9780415376884
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2007


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