Loving long books.
Finally, a book about grammar that explains why we say what we say for the rest of us.
Its absolutely amazing how relatively small populations significantly influenced the English language over time, not just the Vikings.
John McWorter, the author, has a passion for this subject which he brings forth in his reading. This passion brings to our English grammar a level of engagement which is infectious and carries us through two subjects, English and History, which most of us never enjoyed and leaves us wanting more.
The scribe who made English english.
Most of us, including me, find grammar uninteresting and discussion about it pointless. It's kinda amazing as to how John McWorter makes it interesting and explains just how pointless most people using English found it oner time.
I learner new things about English and language in general.
Yes, if they are patient.
academic pedantic. Drone
The author got into a repetitive rut early on long after he made his main point.
Retired high school English teacher. I liked and worked with the at-risk student. Interested in about everything, but I love a good story.
When you listen to this book, you must first and foremost realize that it is truly history. Don't expect a charming story.
McWhorter provides what appears to be a well-researched history of the English language from its earliest roots and covers many of the languages that provided words and syntax for English. I disagreed with him in some places such as the influence of the French court upon every-day English, but that's a minor detail.
This is a truly unique history and presents valuable information. I may even purchase the hard-cover version so I can look at his reference sources
I found the text quite interesting, but the presentation was too defensive. In the first half of the book, the author goes to great lengths to convince us that the establishment is wrong, and he is correct. But I have no really heard what the standard position is, so it in unnecessary - he could simply have stated his case.
In the latter part of the book, the author attacks the "Whorfian" theory by using mocking tones and comments like "really??". This is in stark contrast to another book I have recently listened to, "Predictably Irrational" (much better IMHO), where they devise experiments to answer these types of questions. For example, where McWhorter asserts that English speakers are no less sensitive to gender despite the lack of distinctions in our grammar, the author of Predictable Irrational would have devised a cunning experiment to "prime" English speakers with various gender words and quantify the effect.
There are some interesting ideas here, but a more positive outlook would have suited me better.
This book was well written and expertly read. I felt at times it drug on and at times the author felt the need to reinforce his point over and over. I did learn about the history of English and i would say it was worth my time.
This book is much too technical for the average reader to get much out of. This stuck me as a thesis written to be read by experts. There were interesting parts but it lost me quickly!
Less of an arguing, mocking tone on the part of the author both in the writing and in his narration. Who does he think he is arguing with or showing-up, and why should anyone care?
Certainly nothing by John McWhorter
John's reading and writing style are both off-putting
This story doesn't really have characters... but I'd cut John's ego.
The author/ narrator sounds less like a scholar and more like a cage fighter talking smack before a fight.
I thought that this book would be somewhat more entertaining. Unfortunately, it became somewhat repetitive.
The performance was fine.
I am a geek and like to hear about these sorts of things, but I just wasn't taken on a language journey.
college algebra teacher
Anyone who likes language.
He wrote it and read it perfectly
Leave it as it is.
John McWhorter has freed me from strict adherence to Grammar Rules and had increased my desire to learn Celtic languages and Old English.