I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject. I would have given it five stars except the author is a bit schizophrenic about who his audience is. He switches from writing to the "lay" reader, like myself, and to other linguists, addressing conflicts that the lay reader would have very little interest in.
A good book on an interesting topic but the performance leaves a lot to be desired. My interest in the topic was sorely tested by mid way through the book but I did eventually finish.
yes, if the friend is interested in language and history. It is written in a very engaging and interesting manner
no one moment but the dabbling in Eastern languages was interesting.
no - I found the story very intriguing, though I do wish the author had not continued to harp on those who challenge the influence of Celtic on English.
The reader was outstanding - probably the best reading of non-fiction that I have heard; varied appropriately, brought emotion to it. excellently read
I love, love, love this great language of ours. And not just the language. The history of it as well. I should have gone to college to be a linguist instead of an artist. (Why can't I love things that make money? Finance? Business?)
While listening to The Adventure of English, I thought, wait. What? The Welsh, Celts and the rest had NO influence on English? None at all? How is that possible? It just seemed wrong somehow. But what do I know? Like I said, I'm just an artist. So I was glad to hear this opposing theory. It sounded so much more plausible.
In addition to loving our language, I also love that the author read his own book. His jokes and inflections were so much better than it would have been coming from a third party.
This book is written in a way that anyone with a passing interest in English would understand it. It doesn't have the long lists of words that are ever present in The Adventure of English.
I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.
This was a pretty enjoyable book that makes some interesting connections about the history of the English language. As someone who has tried (with only moderate success) to learn German, it helps explain why English, although a Germanic language, is so "un-German." I found some of the author's conclusions more plausible than others, but they are all presented in an entertaining fashion.
The narration is good. McWhorter comes across as a very opinionated and very capable college professor giving an impassioned lecture, maybe with just a little too much caffeine. If you don't like opinionated, then maybe this is not for you, but I give him high marks because he is not boring.
I really like the topic but I found the content hard to follow while listening. It would have been nice to be able to actually see and re-read sections. However, I can't imagine not having McWhorter's pronunciations to listen to either.
All in all I got the point but would have a hard time recommending the book to someone unless they were already interested in learning about the origins and influences on English.
John McWhorter is like the most sparkling, erudite guest at a dinner party, and does a fantastic job laying a few pet theories about where English comes from and why it is the way it is. I don't have any more expertise than a linguistics 101 class back in college, but I found this engaging and worthwhile. As I understand it, he's putting forward some fairly speculative, tut-tutted-by-adacemia ideas here, but it's compelling stuff, and his hypotheses are certainly plausible and, if nothing else, a real treat to listen to. It's not too heavy a lift either: It's short and breezy and for the most part non-technical.
Special mention goes out to McWhorter for reading the book himself. Author readings can backfire, but here it works fantastically as he's lively and he gets to show off his multilingual chops. His German is quite good, as is his Swedish.
There is a lot of information here, which I couldn't exactly recount to you, but it was very interesting.
He writes and reads with subtle humor that made the subject very entertaining.
A little too text booky for me. I thought I was a ligneous geek, but i guess not geeky enough.
Fewer examples more stories.
Monica Drouilly Hurtado
Mediante un acercamiento serio, sin caer en lo academisista, el libro recorre la historia del ingles, la lengua franca del día de hoy.
Recomendaría escuchar o leer 'The languaje Instinct' de Pinker.
El devenir de las declinaciones.
Indispensable para todos los que nos comunicamos en algún idioma.