Fascinating insight into the workings of the English language. The most interesting part of this is the section on the influence of the Celtic languages. Really easy to listen to; the author is both witty and self-effacing. Pleasant voice to listen to. The section on the purported influence of the Phoenician languages was a bit of a stretch and of questionable relevance, but the rest was very insightful. High recommended.
The author did his research, and it shows. He investigates some of the unique features of English and helps those interested in the history of the language to understand its evolution.
A firework of quirky facts about the English language and a captivating saga how it became what it is today. What a treat it was to listen to the author narrate his own book where his numerous examples expressed amazingly in at least two dozen languages masterfully spread his passion to the listener. If you ever wondered where English's 'meaningless DO' and 'progressive ING' stem from or what impact Phoenician perhaps might have or could have had on Proto-Germanic languages, look no further. A wonderful portrait of the English language as a tower on Germanic foundations, remodeled by indigenous Celts, trimmed by settling Norsemen and Danes and expanded by conquering Normans. And the building project continues to this day!
The text is interesting if you have any interest in languages and it really comes alive as an audiobook. The author narrated it himself and he is downright amazing. The narration is casual and funny, feeling more like an easygoing conversation over dinner than the 'stodgy professor behind a lectern' approach you get from most audiobooks.
The book also often deals with differences in pronunciation between languages, so I imagine it's easier to follow as an audiobook than it would be if you were just reading it, since you can hear the author making the actual sounds.
This was a very fascinating essay about the history of English. I still like the analogy that English beat up other languages and stole bits of grammar and words and now I know that other languages beat up English. I'll have to listen to it again when I can concentrate more on it.
This is educational text, so if you're looking for a fun story this isn't it. I found it incredibly interesting and fun and actually makes me curious to find out about my ancestry DNA profile. It also helps to explain a lot of the complexities of both my native English language but also the many others I've struggled to learn. Understanding the context of the differences makes it even more interesting to learn a new language. I'm inspired by this book to learn more!
A different story
I like didactic books and enjoy learning odd facts but this book was a disappointment.