but it helps.. I cover a lot of books on all different topics, and found this on gave me at fundamental education not just on the origins of English, but most European languages.
more than expected
The section on the vikings was especially interesting to me and the overall implications of English being changed by non native speakers.
The book feels very much like a college lecture. The author is passionate an convincing about his topic. At first I was worried that he wouldn't be able to pull some of the larger assumptions together, but I was able to suspend parts of my disbelief until he could more fully explain later on. He seems to have a ridiculous amount of knowledge. His Japanese pronunciation and cadence needs some practice though :p
I enjoyed the material and the narration. The first chapter seemed to cover, over and over, the author's position on the impact of the Celtic languages on modern English. Ad nauseum. Once I got through the last half of the first chapter, I enjoyed it.
A look at linguistic "archeology" and what it can unearth about the origins of our civilizations. If nothing else, I came away impressed at how little we know of the deep roots of human cultures and societies. A fascinating journey.
this does not draw the listener in as one would expect. seems you must have basic historical linguistic understanding to keep it interesting. thankfully it wasn't too long. also helps to have a good understanding of world/European history. appreciate the effort and I did pick up some interesting information.
This guy is so full of himself. Story was so-so and brought up a few good points, but the author spent the time to talk down to his American audience (which I assume because he just said "Civil War" instead of clarifying which civil war). Did not care for it, although if you're going to read this book I recommend listening to it to understand pronunciations.
The whole story is interesting, but if you don't know the real mechanics of languages, you might not get much out of this
Animated. Informed. Enthusiastic.
I'm cursing myself for not paying better attention in English, and all the other languages I took in school. While I know I've heard these terms before (such as "Daitive"), I can't remember exactly what these terms mean. Alas, much of this book was sort of lost on me, and it's all my own fault.
The three words that best describe his performance are:
*(I don't know where the blame goes for this, whether on the recording director or the author himself. The speech pattern he repeatedly returns to involves a falling off into vocal fry toward the ends of his sentences. My ears had to adjust such that they weren't put off by this sound. It's really the only flaw in an otherwise very worthwhile and enjoyable listen. To be able to make an audiobook involving grammar seem lively is a herculean task.)
The deductive approach the author takes to explain the likely sources of modification in our language is satisfyingly rational. While not specifically stated in the text, if one applies Ockham's Razor to the choices presented (such as around our usage of "do"), the point of view presented here makes the most sense.
I'm not sure how engaged I would have been in the written version of this book, but I LOVED the audio version. The author is an awesome narrator and hearing all the pronunciations was great. I very much enjoyed it.