I am very tolerant of mediocre writing if the story is a good one. But I could not get past the grade school prose to find out if there was a story at all. Lazy and hackneyed. I cannot believe this is some kind of series. I cannot imagine suffering through it.
I really like the topic but I found the content hard to follow while listening. It would have been nice to be able to actually see and re-read sections. However, I can't imagine not having McWhorter's pronunciations to listen to either.
All in all I got the point but would have a hard time recommending the book to someone unless they were already interested in learning about the origins and influences on English.
Back when I was a kid, there was a somewhat cruel trick that you used to play on kids who weren't quite cool enough to be in your group. (Of course, I discovered it by having it played on me). One of the cooler kids would tell a joke for which there was an intentionally nonsensical punchline. After the punchline was delivered, everyone in on the prank would laugh heartily causing the victim to (usually) laugh along with them as if they understood the joke. At which point, they would be asked to explain the joke which, of course, they could not.
That's how I felt about most of the stories here. I found the writing (and, for the most part the performances, very good) But the stories endings always seemed to fall off a cliff. Like the author just ran out of gas, or had to go somewhere and didn't have time to complete the story. Of course, "True" sci-fi fans will take exception to my analysis and insist that I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate the brilliance. Or they will (As they have) list all the awards a story has received. To that, I will simply mention an older "No Soap the Radio" version: The Emperor's New Clothes.
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