I bought this for my partner as a gift and he is enjoying it. He also touches on issues such as a singular "they" and comments on how language does not determine culture, rather the other way around. This short, opinionated audiobook addresses the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which argues that the language we speak shapes the way we perceive the world. But the author's tone and wit help to keep it interesting. The author also addresses how and why written English was different from spoken English, the theory that language shapes the way we think (he mostly disagrees), and the Semitic influences on the proto-Germanic language. Edward Dolnick. New Reviews Check out our recent audiobook reviews. Any student of English even, if just elementary school grammar, knows English is weird. A meld of history and science, this book is a group portrait of some of the greatest minds who ever lived as they wrestled with natures most sweeping mysteries. Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Given his jocular and casual communication style this repetition can become a bit irritating. For those with only a passing interest in the history of English, I recommend "The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language". He goes on to point out that written English in earlier centuries or even today is not always a good indication of how people actually speak a language. An entertaining history that's easy to read, McWhorter puts forth an engaging and entertaining revisionist history of English - as he puts it, our magnificent bastard tongue. By: He is also a singer and a pianist, and he is very interested in, and conversant with popular culture. Aside from linguistics, his second major interest deals with race in America, and he is widely called upon to offer his (usually unorthodox) views on this subject. Words on the Move opens our eyes to the surprising backstories to the words and expressions we use every day. Sean Runnette, Isaac Newton, The Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World, By: Please try again. (Publishers Weekly), "McWhorter’s energetic, brash delivery of his own spirited and iconoclastic text will appeal to everyone who appreciates the range and caliber of today’s audio production. I enjoyed the narration as well. So they may well have set up a trading post or even colony on the misty shores of what is now Denmark and Holland. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 21, 2018. But here's a secret: There's a lot that's quirky and intriguing about how human language works-and much of it is downright fun to learn about. Cancel anytime. The book is about the spoken word and how and why the English language’s structure — that is the syntax, and which linguists term the “grammar” — changed through time. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2012. Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? And archaeological evidence shows that the Phonecians apparently did trade all the way up into the North Sea. For that reason, it might be heavy going for people with a casual interest and little knowledge of linguistic terminology. Was enjoyable to listen to. Drawing on revolutionary genetic and linguistic research, as well as a cache of remarkable trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English - and its ironic simplicity due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. on the Germanic languages. This has changed the way I think about the English language and it will continue to do so in the future. By: The population of the British Isles up to somewhere in the middle of the first millenium was mostly Celtic, and Celtic tongues survive on the edges, in Wales, Eire and Scotland. ©2008 John McWhorter (P)2009 Audible, Inc. Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, By: That being said, "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue" is a great listen for those interested in the origins and evolution of the English language told not only through history and vocabulary but also through grammar and linguistics. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic by Lucretius—a beautiful poem containing the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles. This changed forever when an actor-turned-fugitive, Teddy Kyle Smith, had an encounter that brought Iñukuns from myth to reality. Furthermore, a sizeable proportion of its vocabulary can't be traced easily to Indo European roots and seems more similar to Phonecian a Semitic language. One credit a month to pick any title from our entire premium selection to keep (you’ll use your first credit now). He explains repeatedly that the changes seen in English grammar from Proto Germanic to Modern English have perfectly good explanations. By: and others. Yet false assumptions and controversies still swirl around what it means to speak and sound "Black." They were busy people who had other things to think about than the niceties of each other's grammars and so the much simpler grammar of English came about by accident. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? My husband, who has no background in linguistics but is curious about many topics, enjoyed it and got something out of it. As these two theories drive the majority of the book, it would be nice to know just how well they are accepted. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the standard theories and would have greatly appreciated if he had simply stated his own case convincingly instead. There is also a big chunk of a chapter dedicated to unique English peculiarities like our use of the (mostly) meaningless word "do" (e.g. Beginning with opium, the “joy plant,” which has been used for 10,000 years, Thomas Hager tells a captivating story of medicine. I read it after reading The Power of Babel. Why do we say “do” at all? Enjoyment lies in the lively and vigorous presentation of its ideas. Delving into these provocative topic… I wanted some knowledge on English for school but I think for me it was too specific and not generally as I would have liked. And he is good enough to share his views with us. As for the substance of his argument, he argues that English has been much affected grammatically by the adjacent Celtic speaking communities of Cornwall and Wales. The author mentions in the introduction that he's trying to provide a new explanation of the English language, going beyond the surface, symptomatic explanations like English adopted French words or English dropped gender and case markers, to an explanation of WHY those major shifts in English happened. You and me, as English speakers, do not really know why we're saying what we're saying, because English really is, as John McWhorter tells us, a magnificently bastardized language. Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? the author provides examples of how sounds from Indo-European words (e.g. This is the book that language aficionados worldwide have been waiting for. $14.95 a month after 30 days. However, he often belabors the point and so I found myself skipping whole pages because I got the point and wanted to move on. I loved this book. Learn more about Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue in the Washington County … As for the loss in English of gender, cases, suffixes, reflexive verbs and & other grammatical features the explanation here is the proximity of the invading Vikings, that is the Danelaw, when England was half ruled by the Danes and half by the Anglo-Saxons. By: A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. Why do we say "do" at all? Best! Available on: Audio Download. They were neither informative nor helpful and were thus, completely superfluous. This book was fabulous! A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. Free trial available! is a much more normal grammatical construct. I enjoyed the emphasis in this book on the evolution in grammar and not just of word origins. He has much to say and he's well worth listening to. James Dommek Jr., I thoroughly enjoyed this attempt to explain the intricacies of our weird languageI found it easy to listen to and easy to take in. The question is: what happened to Celtic? John McWhorter, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue is about linguistics and the history of English. Drawing on revolutionary genetic and linguistic research, as well as a cache of remarkable trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English - and its ironic simplicity due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. Learn more about Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue in the National Library Board Singapore digital collection. Please try again. John McWhorter. But in this book his impulse to expose the bastard origins of the English language are delightfully subversive. The Clockwork Universe is the story of a band of men who lived in a world of dirt and disease but pictured a universe that ran like a perfect machine. This meant that two close descendants of Proto Germanic were living side by side and when you have two very similar languages next to each other it can cause confusion, resulting in a loss of suffixes and so forth. Emily Woo Zeller. Michael Pollan, By: Professor John McWhorter of Columbia University takes you back through time and around the world, following the linguistic trails left by generations of humans that lead back to the beginnings of language. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter. James Dommek Jr. By: John H. McWhorter, By: Performed by Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany at the Minetta Lane Theatre, this play by Lauren Gunderson is an ode to two remarkable women. Its as if he is liberating himself from some sort of academic duress which leads him to repeatedly justify his conclusions even though they seem perfectly reasonable, even compelling to the uninititiated listener. Stream or download thousands of included titles. This little book is a firm shot across the bow of prescriptivist linguists - one of many, perhaps, in a long running family feud between descriptivists and prescriptivists. My only complaint is that when speaking Japanese his accent is almost as bad as my own, but given the number of languages referenced he does an admirable job of delivering phrases from such a wide range of sources. Thomas Hager. The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. The content of the book is outstanding. That's about as scary/difficult as the etymologies get. Unable to add item to List. I would encourage any would-be purchasers on the merits of his "Miscegenated Grammar" chapter alone. In this book, his personally revised history of English, he presents a compelling case that the most interesting thing about English is not the etymology of its words but the origin of its somewhat unique grammar both within the family of Germanic languages and within languages in general. Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? Roach takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour. Unlike many academic works of linguistic history, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue proposes arguments for why grammar is the way it is, rather than merely concerned with the what and the when. our magnificent bastard tongue the untold history of english Sep 05, 2020 Posted By Astrid Lindgren Media Publishing TEXT ID b60a8d5c Online PDF Ebook Epub Library and why it has come to be the way it is today this very readable book will make you think about english in a new way catherine carpenter cates books and stuff louisiana Sam Kean. By: Cancel online anytime. I was excited (and convinced) by the author's thesis that Old English was influenced by Welsh. Best-selling author Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside. I purchased the paperback edition and the book quality met my expectations. He had to since there are lots (i.e. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English, Switch between reading the Kindle book & listening to the Audible narration with, Get the Audible audiobook for the reduced price of $7.49 after you. I don't know how boring I must be to become so engrossed in a text about the history of English grammar, but I was rapt nonetheless. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Edwin Barnhart, By: Amongst his others audiobooks is a set of lectures which makes a good introduction to the subject, entitled "The Story of Human Language". John McWhorter, Narrated by: In his first book devoted solely to the form, structure, and development of Black English, John McWhorter clearly explains its fundamentals and rich history while carefully examining the cultural, educational, and political issues that have undermined recognition of this transformative, empowering dialect. In Ancient Civilizations of North America, Professor Edwin Barnhart, Director of the Maya Exploration Center, will open your eyes to a fascinating world you never knew existed - even though you’ve been living right next to it, or even on top of it. 1 ... Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue. compared to "Will you walk?". Everyday low … Did you know that silly once meant "blessed"? By: $14.95 a month after 30 days. That's unusual. Makes compelling points, but belabors them. But English itself is basically Germanic, with only a smattering of Celtic words in the lexicon, and Latin-based influences coming in later in its development. I would recommend this book to anyone. Language defines us as a species, placing humans head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. I have learned more from this man than from anyone else. "this doesn't work" instead of "this not work") and our use of "ing" to convey a present state of doing something, rather than just the present active indicative ("I'm typing" instead of "I type") (The Celts are responsible!) Smith was an aspiring actor with a promising career until it all came quickly crashing down with a gunshot, a manhunt, bloodshed, and other frightful events.
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