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In Search of English

The History of Our Mother Tongue
Narrated by: Prof. Chris Fee PhD
Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The history of a language is the history of the people who speak it, those who read and write it, and those who come into contact with it. Now, this series invites you to explore your heritage from an unconventional angle: through the origin and development of the English language. 

Leading your expedition is Christopher R. Fee, an award-winning professor and medievalist whose expertise spans Old English, Old Norse, and historical linguistics. With flair and gusto, he draws from this well of knowledge to help you trace the evolution of English across a fascinating range of cultures. 

In liberal arts fashion, this series of 24 lectures mixes the study of technical subjects (like phonetics, linguistics, and historical grammar) with more abstract cultural issues, such as the impact of the Norman Invasion on Old English, the advent of the printing press, the place of Ebonics in the modern public-school curriculum, how English became a world language, and how close the Vikings came to ensuring that this course might have been about Danish instead of English. 

Prof. Fee has a knack for spinning the wildest yarns out of the most threadbare of events. Expect to enjoy his account of the characters “worthy of a seamy soap opera” tasked with writing a dictionary. 

Language is a cornerstone - arguably the very foundation - of human culture. It is a vital part of who we are and a subject invaluable to anyone interested in the humanities.

©2019 Now You Know Media Inc. (P)2019 Now You Know Media Inc.

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  • T. Hawes
  • 08-17-19

Missed opportunity, waffling and stuttering

So much stuttering and 'er' 'um' 'ah' almost every sentence makes this hard enough to follow. The first 2 chapters (intro and chapter 1 of the book) seem irrelevant waffling. so many places in the book lack a concrete example of what he is talking about.
The book seems not to be in chronologucal order all the time, so you have to put the jigsaw together yourself.
the author seems to have spent so long in academic circles they have forgotten how to talk to am outside audience. The book is ok for people who already know all the jargon and the subject, but this is not a book of use to those who want to learn.
I thought it was going to be a historical guide step by step to the development of the English language but it is more a sampling of some events padded around with waffle and big words.
So many occasions it would have helped to have given examples, which he did sometimes.