HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold…
Loading...

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English

by John McWhorter

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5581717,869 (3.73)36
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
A brisk overview of a few interesting, if in some cases quite vague, theories about the development of English. Color me, at least partially, unconvinced. McWhorter's writing for a very general audience here, and it shows: a bit more rigor and fewer exclamation points would go a long way. ( )
1 vote JBD1 | Oct 22, 2013 |
McWhorter presents an intriguing case for the development of English grammar here in a mostly clear, concise style that makes this a joy to read. I did not realize the book was going to focus on grammar so heavily when I started it, but it was a pleasure to discover how wild a ride English grammar has taken to arrive at its current form. His argument is fairly solid; it lacks concrete evidence in the form of writing, but he manages to present plenty of evidence from the various languages he posits influenced the development of English grammar (primarily Norse, Celtic, and Phoenician). There are a couple of points where the clarity vanished for me, but it may be more of a case that I'm not fully understanding the word choice or the study of linguistics well enough to follow. In all, a very interesting read that I recommend to anyone curious about English's development and wants something new brought to the table. ( )
  WildcatJF | Jul 3, 2013 |
The English language is really interesting. It's weird. Different. It has oddities that make you scratch your head, if you think about them, and wonder, "where on earth did that come from?". It is fluid and dynamic and robust and innovative. This very short book highlights reasons why, and puts forth hypotheses I have not read in other linguistics books. Come on, "fopcorn in Tunisia"? Delicious! The book is worth the read for that chapter alone. ( )
  anaxagoras | Apr 30, 2013 |
McWhorter is pretty high on the list of People I Would Like to Take a Class From. ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
Interesting to see that English was greatly influenced by people whose native tongue was not English. ( )
  TJWilson | Mar 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Introduction

Was it really all just about words?
One

We Speak a

Miscegenated Grammar
The Welshness of English
The first chapter in the new history of English is that bastardization I mentioned.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar

Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

Covering such turning points as the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century ad, John McWhorter narrates this colorful evolution with vigor. 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. This is the book that language aficionados worldwide have been waiting for (and no, it's not a sin to end a sentence with a preposition).

Table of Contents
Introduction
Chapter One: We Speak a Miscegenated Grammar
Chapter Two: A Lesson from the Celtic Impact
Chapter Three: We Speak a Battered Grammar
Chapter Four: Does Our Grammar Channel Our Thought?
Chapter Five: Skeletons in the Closet
Notes on Sources
Acknowledgments
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, author McWhorter distills hundreds of years of lore into one lively history. Covering the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century AD, and drawing on genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, McWhorter 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. This is the book that language aficionados have been waiting for.--From publisher description.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
125 wanted
2 pay1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.73)
0.5
1
1.5
2 5
2.5 2
3 28
3.5 6
4 44
4.5 4
5 14

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,464,153 books! | Top bar: Always visible