Customer Reviews for

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    A wonderful "biography" of our language

    A very easy and engaging read for what seems to be a very dry subject. I never got bored. McWhorter has a nice ability to keep you wondering what he is going to say next. He also doesn't just spew facts but gives you the history and reason for certain quirks in English. I get a little kick when I sometimes hear a word and can speculate on the reason it entered the language the way it did. Thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Historical, technical and FUN!

    A wonderfully written historical assessment of the evolvement of the English language, with all of its quirks and perplexities. A wonderful, even humorous exploration of the oddities surrounding the English language--it's syntax, grammar and vocabulary. I enjoyed this immensely!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

    Good Information

    Not just for students of English or the written/spoken word. Interesting background on why we speak and write the way we do. Especially liked it because I was trained that when the gender of a subject is unknown, male pronouns are used. I was also taught that pronouns needed to match subject numbers ("Anyone interested should have his . . . " rather than "Anyone interested should have their . . . ") Author is witty and educated and the read is enjoyable and easy.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2011

    Fascinating and Highly Entertaining

    I picked this book up on a whim. suffice to say that I have thouroughly enjoyed reading it. Mr. McWhorter's writing style made this book entertaining and informative all at once. Chock full of examples of how the English language has evolved over the centuries, it is a historical journey of the language we take for granted. The author shows examples of the various changes wrought upon the language by invading hordes and indigenous peoples. If you're only goin to buy one non-fiction book this year, make it this book. You'll be (there's that redundant be word!) pleasantly surprised.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    Makes linguistic history fun (OK, as fun as possible)

    I've read (or started reading) other histories of English, but this is the best. Mc Whorter looks beyond the usual vocabulary-driven analysis to look at the story of English's bizarre grammar and syntax--and does it all with style, clarity and humor while still being thorough. If this is the kind of thing you like, you'll like this.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 26, 2009

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    Posted July 23, 2009

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    Posted January 10, 2010

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