I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
The author/narrator’s enthusiasm and humor are among the best parts of this book. The author describes some mildly off-beat theories about the evolution of the English language. I enjoyed hearing these ideas even if I was not completely convinced. There is also a bunch of interesting fun facts about English grammar. This book refreshingly focuses mostly on grammar while most other books in this genre emphasis etymology. The material gets a bit complicated for audio from time to time and the author does not always support his theories well enough to be compelling, but overall this was interesting and fun.
It seems to me the author mischaracterizes the mainstream linguists’ hesitation to accept his theories. McWhorter repeatedly points out that the alternative to his theories is to believe some language features appeared at random. When there is insufficient evidence to support a theory about a language feature, most mainstream linguists choose to believe the source of the feature is unknown (and thus may have arisen randomly).
Yes. this is the best book on the subject of the history of English since "Structural history of the English Language".
This is a book on linguistics.
This is an irrelevant question. This not a fiction book.
Ask questions relevant to the book.
I am an English teacher in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am an avid reader and love horror, romance, and literary fiction the best.
I am very interested in linguistics but this book did not interest me as much as I had hoped. The book was fairly interesting about how English transformed over the years. But it also felt like the author had problems with other linguistic academics. I appreciate that professors need to put forward new ideas but sometimes this book felt like it diminished other writers.
On the other hand, I am completely in awe of McWhorter’s talent for pronunciation which is a skill that I sorely lack.
Repetitive, interesting, long
The story was interesting as to how English became the language it is today. The story is persuasive for me as a lay person. I really enjoyed the argument against language rules.
Mother, Wife, Cultural Anthropologist, always a scholar and lover of books!
I wish this author had been my professor as this writing is linguistic anthropology at its finest.
I like happy endings and realism that is realistic rather than gritty.
Perhaps my title is hyperbole--maybe Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue is just the Usual Suspects of HEL texts....
I am endlessly fascinated with the history of our language, even though I've heard it scores of times (including in college and grad school courses). If it's a history of English, I will buy it, read it, check it out, listen to it, watch it, etc. McWhorter's text is easily in my top 5 HEL's of all time. His theory on the origins and uses of "do" are, to me, as exciting as the first time you get the twist in The Sixth Sense, and then the second time you watch the movie and see all the foreshadowing... McWhorter's ideas work that way for me. He presents his ideas in an excellent, engaging fashion, and now I can look back and see those ideas playing out in our beloved English.
The book is well-written, engaging, and accessible. I love it!
yes. The Celtics giving up the "do."
Well done, avoids accepting the mainstream views and is well thought out. Makes one remember that scholars views are not always supported by facts.
Great information, well researched and easy to follow.
His examples to support his points are clear and easy to understand, especially in audiobook format.
I always like it when an author is willing to perform his own book. In this case, with all of the different language examples, it really helped to have it pronounced by someone who understands the point the author (himself) was trying to make.
You do not need to be a linguist to enjoy this book, but some general knowledge about language, geography and European culture will help.
I usually avoid books read by the author. Prof McWhorter performs as if he's speaking to you directly. Very engaging and really interesting information.
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.