Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English

by John McWhorter

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592404940
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/27/2009
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 251,660
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John McWhorter is the author of the bestseller Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, and four other books. He is associate professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a contributing editor to The City Journal and The New Republic. He has been profiled in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and has appeared on Dateline NBC, Politically Incorrect, and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

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Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
NJT_Transiter More than 1 year ago
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.
WriterAtTheSea More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Barry Gilmour More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 3 months ago
McWhorter lays out a well reasoned analysis of how English became the language we speak today, rife with examples of how the Celts, Vikings, and Phoenicians impacted the language we speak today. The convetsational tone of the book make it easy to read while still leaving many significant ideas to ponder.
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