This set of lecturers discusses the progression of English grammar from an historical prospective. One can hear excerpts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Beowulf (for example) read in their original medieval form of prose along with discussions of their influence on modern English language. While some audiences may find this information interesting, it offers very little practical help for those wanting to improve grammar of the language spoken today. In short, the lectures are geared to people interested in academic discourse on the history of grammar.
There are a few of practical points, but not many. The lectures help current speakers to improve their speech in the same way a history of filaments or a biography of Thomas Edison would help someone needing to know how to change a halogen light bulb.
I’ve purchased at least 50 books from Audible so far, and this one by far has been the most painful to listen to. It’s dry and repetitive, and not because the subject is grammar. The problem is the lecturer and his presentation.
He has a remarkable education and expertise but the book is way too informal rather than informative.
He expresses his point of view in a very clear way in the last chapter.
Goes into too much history, but includes some helpful tips.
Also, having more than one example for each grammatical rule could have improved its quality.
G. L. Edwards
Great insights as to why, and how English evolved and continues to evolve into the way it is. Author has passion for this subject and that propels the reader/listener forward.
the content was terrific - when you actually got to the content. There were a few too many tangents and asides, especially in the opening lectures. Also, a lot of repetition, not of the course material, of the tangents.
Overall the lectures did teach me quite a bit about English grammar and how it has been built up from previous languages. I could have used a second lecture on punctuation and less on politics (and the inter-departmental squabbles re: grammar and linguistics). But, in the end, I came away knowing more than when I started.
Fabulous, imaginative & brilliant.
Grammar girl - put one to bed and please never listen to grammar girl while driving.. Might land you in a hospital.
You will love P. Drout in his refreshing way of presenting such a dry subject like grammar!
I drive a lot, so I listen to a lot of books. I am addicted to Audible!
Prof. Drout has presented the complicated structure of English in a way that is much simpler than a grammar textbook. However, he flies through things quite quickly, so it is important to pay VERY close attention!
I have grammar textbooks, but I am not sure if that is a fair comparison. This is presented in a way that is way more accessible.
S ; S
I really don't think I can compare it to any other book, other than Professor Drout's "Writing Rhetoric and the Art of Persuasion." It is like attending a very enjoyable class, where you like the professor; therefore you pay attention more.
No, well I did smile in places, but I think if I cried I would be worried about myself.
The book brings the dreaded grammar into a logical light. Rather than blinding memorizing a series of rules, you are able to understand why you are memorizing a series of rules :-)
It is overall fun, and I've listened to it twice, and plan to listen to it again.
I was looking for a book to brush up my grammar and came across this one. I have found most of the grammar books to be boring. But based upon the reviews, I thought I will give this book a chance. I finished this book on my drives to work in about 3 weeks and really enjoyed listening.
I like the way Professor Drout has made Grammar really interesting to listen to. Chapters 5 to 13 are just fabulous!
The fact that the lectures are narrated by Professor Drout made me feel that I was actually attending his lectures in school.
Prof. Drout has a very engaging style and makes any subject he talks about easy to understand and enjoyable.
Wonderful supplementary material for English students or anyone who wants to understand language.