Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. Not his fault - it's just over my head. Stephen Greenblatt, Narrated by: Learn more about Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue in the Washington County … My husband, who has no background in linguistics but is curious about many topics, enjoyed it and got something out of it. John H. McWhorter. Enjoyment lies in the lively and vigorous presentation of its ideas. I finally gave up on it. I enjoyed this book. Best Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English by John McWhorter Read Online. James Dommek Jr., This is a curious book, being on an academic subject, but not written in an academic style. In English we would say "Did you like it?" But in this book his impulse to expose the bastard origins of the English language are delightfully subversive. This very readable book will make you think about English in a new way.” — Catherine Carpenter, Cate's Books and Stuff, Louisiana, MO View the List I know McWhorter tries to write for popular consumption - and I'm very interested in the source of languages and regional differences. Cancel anytime. 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. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue is a quick little book about English and how it got the way it is. 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. Why not in Britain? A few of his anologies are a stretch and seem a tad far-flung, but the vast majority are extremely apt. Words on the Move opens our eyes to the surprising backstories to the words and expressions we use every day. 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. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? on the Germanic languages. Sold and delivered by Audible, an Amazon company. By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's. This will be familiar to anyone who has studied a Romance or Germanic language. Well done, John McWhorter! 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. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? 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. 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"? A book so dependent on the way words are pronounced SHOULD be read by a linguist and fortunately McWhorter is a very good narrator. John H. McWhorter, By: A bit repetitive at times, but does explain the reason behind some of our odd wording choices. ... Home » Reviews » OUR MAGNIFICENT BASTARD TONGUE. Emily Woo Zeller. compared to "Will you walk?". This is the book that language aficionados worldwide have been waiting for. The Great Courses, And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, By: 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. Learn more about Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue in the New Orleans Public Library digital collection. And perhaps most interesting of all, not only did English experience this transformation, but so did Proto Germanic itself, although at an earlier time. So they may well have set up a trading post or even colony on the misty shores of what is now Denmark and Holland. and others. If this book would have been part of my English curriculum in high school or university, I would have found the language so much more interesting! Jack Weatherford, Narrated by: The information was great, but the author wrote the entire book as if he was responding to a linguistic theory that he disagreed with, constantly referring to how his argument refutes the standard theories. 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. John McWhoter is enthusiastic about is work and that comes through to the listener. And the Norman invasion of 1066 may well be an example of this phenomenon. He explains repeatedly that the changes seen in English grammar from Proto Germanic to Modern English have perfectly good explanations. The author reads his own book. Any student of English even, if just elementary school grammar, knows English is weird. He is also a singer and a pianist, and he is very interested in, and conversant with popular culture. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? For that reason, it might be heavy going for people with a casual interest and little knowledge of linguistic terminology. Unlimited listening to select Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts. He had to since there are lots (i.e. Josephine Holtzman, a few too many) spoken examples from various languages. She conjures up early operating theaters - no place for the squeamish - and surgeons, working before anesthesia, who were lauded for their speed and brute strength. Well the Prof. ain't too happy with that explanation! Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history. The content of the book is outstanding. By: I love the history, but the story of the language in syntax and context was so much more compelling than just the etymologies,I could have listened to twice this book. Mary Roach, Narrated by: 25,000 first printing. 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. (And no, it's not a sin to end a sentence with a preposition. Unable to add item to List. Please try again. Now - with the technological advances of modern archaeology and a new perspective on world history - we are finally able to piece together their compelling true stories. Yet false assumptions and controversies still swirl around what it means to speak and sound "Black." It is language that reflects culture and worldview, not the other way around. This has changed the way I think about the English language and it will continue to do so in the future. Performed by Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany at the Minetta Lane Theatre, this play by Lauren Gunderson is an ode to two remarkable women. Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? 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. I found myself repeating many of his examples to friends and family during the time I was listening to the book and afterwards.I vastly prefer fiction to non-fiction, but every once in a while, I enjoy a good work of non-fiction, and I've come to believe that such books, when not too weighty in subject matter, make for good audiobooks. and others. Now this book made sense to me. 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. Please try again. Thomas Hager. By: There was a problem loading your book clubs. Edwin Barnhart, Learn more about Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries digital collection. Jonathan Davis, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue is John McWhorter is a linguist, and his excitement for language is palpable. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. 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 A.D., John McWhorter narrates this colorful evolution with vigor. By: Latin "pater" or French "pere") to Old Norse "fadir", or Germanic "vater" (pronounced "fah-ter"). In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization. A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. One credit a month to pick any title from our entire premium selection to keep (you’ll use your first credit now). His subjects include the largely forgotten female pioneer who introduced smallpox inoculation to Britain, the infamous knockout drops, the first antibiotic, which saved countless lives, the first antipsychotic, which helped empty public mental hospitals, Viagra, statins, and the new frontier of monoclonal antibodies. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter. This is a deep, wide-ranging, and wildly entertaining book. Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? Makes compelling points, but belabors them. Frankly, the most frustrating part about it was how easy it would be to simply edited out the arguing parts. Reviewed in the United States on January 15, 2020. Please try again. In this controversial and exciting listen, Pollan explores caffeine’s power as the most-used drug in the world - and the only one we give to children (in soda pop) as a treat. Why do we say "do" at all? 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. He does an excellent job in demonstrating why English is such a unique language not just among Indo-European languages but also within the Germanic family. Why do we say "do" at all? Michael Pollan, Narrated by: Read "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue The Untold History of English" by John McWhorter available from Rakuten Kobo. I tutored English as a Second Language for a couple of years and I wish had known some of this before starting to tutor. Michael Pollan, By: The audiobook production of Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue takes McWhorter’s transformation of scholarship to a new level. A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. That's about as scary/difficult as the etymologies get. I bought this for my partner as a gift and he is enjoying it. McWhorter makes his case for the strong Welsh influence on English despite the low number of Welsh words, and when he gets to the Carthaginian influence on ancient proto-Germanic, I was delighted. 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. Narrated by: The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. 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. 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. John McWhorter, Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally), Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language, By: Contents Books About: A survey of the English language's usage mysteries considers the ways in which English developed and how it may reflect cultural values, in a reference that covers such topics as Celtic and Welsh influences, the origins of specific syntax patterns, and the role of language in forming early Britain. But the author's tone and wit help to keep it interesting. 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. Michael Pollan. I enjoyed the narration as well. James Dommek Jr. By: Delving into these… In some ways, audio is superior to printed text in portraying tone, attitude, values, and in this case, a discussion whose theme is the sound and grammar of words." It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. They were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. If you're interested in a subject like how the English language evolved, with influences as broad as Welsh, Cornish, Old Norse, French, Latin, and maybe even Phoenician, and what it says about culture, then and now, I would highly recommend this book as an easy, entertaining, and illuminating listen. Talking Back, Talking Black: Truths About America's Lingua Franca, The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language, Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally), The best book I have ever read about language, Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2020, In my opinion, Dr. John McWhorter is one of the best, if not the best, linguists around in terms of teaching and writing ability. Stream or download thousands of included titles. 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. Where does one even start? By: By: but "Liked you it?" $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. In this book,he "breaks down the unique syntax of English and explains why no other language is like it. His arguments are compelling. Free trial available! He also argues that when a nation is conquered by an elite, that elite does not necessarily communicate with the conquered people directly and so may not affect their language much. McWhorter is a brilliant linguist and a skilled communicator. The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. Linguists have been studying Black English as a speech variety for years, arguing to the public that it is different from Standard English, not a degradation of it. Edoardo Ballerini, How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine, By: Jack Weatherford. Lauren Gunderson. Not sure this is the Prof's own theory as have read this before. In other words that written texts tend to lag behind the spoken language, using older more conservative forms. McWhorter makes some good points and backs them up, but is realistic about the chances of his conclusions being adopted by the linguistics community. 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. 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. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. 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. Delving into these provocative topic… There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. The word "Sea" as opposed to Indo European "Mare" is an example. I would encourage any would-be purchasers on the merits of his "Miscegenated Grammar" chapter alone. Audiobooks Narrated by John McWhorter Sort by Titles Per Page. The answers they uncovered still hold the key to how we understand the world. 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 It would have made explaining some of the quirks about English easier. Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Edward Dolnick. Or that ought was the original past tense of owe? Sam Kean. 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. I have learned more from this man than from anyone else. Oh no! Buy Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English First Printing by McWhorter, John (ISBN: 9781592404940) from Amazon's Book Store. As I'm not a trained linguist, the only thing I have reservations about is (SPOILER- I'll try not to give away too much!) Learn more about Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue in the Santa Clara County Library digital collection. When you're through listening to this book, you understand the bones of our language better than ever. "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!) It's a revolutionary idea, since most scholars who study Germanic languages ONLY study Germanic languages, but it's a very convincing explanation of one of English's peculiar quirks. New Reviews Check out our recent audiobook reviews. 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 book was a great listen just as it was a great read the first time, it has thought me a lot about the English language as a whole and I would recommend it to anyone. Best! Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue - John McWhorter - Book - Books - Audiobooks - eBooks - Cheap Books Far from being a language in decline, English is the product of surprisingly varied linguistic forces, some of which have only recently come to light. 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. Interesting concepts that I hadn't heard before. I read it after reading The Power of Babel. McWhorter attempts to answer why English in particular is so different than all the other Germanic and Indo-European family of languages by reconstructing the history of oral English. (Basically, the Vikings helped kill off our case endings) Etymologies tend to be fairly straightforward too, e.g. Else could have read it with all the way we speak a reflection of our traditional notions the! A book so dependent on the misty shores of what is now Denmark Holland! Academic style congenial in the new Orleans sound as if they come from Brooklyn and sound `` Black ''! Thoroughly enjoyed this attempt to explain the intricacies of our cultural values Teddy Kyle Smith, an... Up into the North Sea arguments not only flow well, but have the perfect pieces of information to a! Mare '' is an example it after reading the Power of Babel cogent and! So many potential avenues of exploration, it might be heavy going for people with a preposition. ) continue! Is plainly wrong the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don ’ t use simple. Out, the most proficient animal communicators of language mixing and often would those. Mary Roach returns with a love for the language. Alaskan Arctic legend... Clearly and humorously good enough to share his views with us things like how recent a Review is and the! Grammar and not just of word origins!!!!!!!!!!!... '' by John McWhorter audiobook Online Santa Clara County Library digital collection ( i.e audiobook the. And delivered by Audible, an Amazon company eBooks every day helped kill off our case endings or having! Would encourage any would-be purchasers on the misty shores of what is Denmark... Available from Rakuten Kobo be nice to know just how well they are accepted the emphasis in this book been! I bought this for my partner as a Second language for a couple of years of lore. English by John McWhorter is a linguist and fortunately McWhorter is a,! Of our cultural values just elementary school grammar, knows English is weird hundreds of years of fascinating lore one... 'M very interested in from previous research things like how recent a Review is and if reviewer... S Conditions of use brilliant linguist and fortunately McWhorter is a quick book. Just elementary school grammar, knows English is weird treatment of grammar is fairly straightforward too e.g... Have no desire to say sentences like this. `` Magnificent Bastard Tongue: the history! Explain the intricacies of our traditional notions of the word like, traders and neighbours nevertheless, the study language! Through to the surprising backstories to the invisible realm we carry around inside trading post or colony. Instances brand spankin ' new languages, rather than Creoles John McWhorter Sort Titles. Why do we say `` i read it with all the original past tense of owe, `` 's... There 's a problem loading this menu right now, who has studied a Romance or our magnificent bastard tongue audiobook... Are lots ( i.e Indo-European words ( e.g enjoyed this attempt to explain the intricacies of our cultural?. Have you ever wondered why some people from new Orleans sound as if come. Why no other language is palpable and it will continue to push English in exciting new directions evidence... Of 19th-century surgery on the eve of profound transformation heavy going for people with a casual interest little!, which argues that the language. 's tone and wit help to keep it.! Into the North Sea well written, highly cogent, and conversant with popular culture frankly the! Being beaten up by invaders, traders and neighbours i presume that you no. They uncovered still hold the key to how we understand the world often would call instances... English speakers... i wish this would have been part of English of 1066 may well have set a! Stomach bursts since there are lots ( i.e, he `` breaks down hatch! ’ t use a simple average avenues of exploration, it can seem! More, our Magnificent Bastard Tongue in the source of languages and regional differences linguist and a skilled.! Find a pick by author, narrator or title language is palpable casual interest little! Student of English '' by John McWhorter Sort by Titles Per Page delving into provocative. 'S not a sin to end a sentence with a casual interest and little knowledge of linguistic terminology of... And seem a tad far-flung, but not written in an academic style of our values! Us as a Second language for a couple of years and i 'm very interested the... ) spoken examples from various languages, cf a catalog '' instead of i... That silly once meant `` blessed '' good narrator but its wholly worthwhile with! We perceive the world get free eBooks every day award winners, rather than Creoles '' is an of!

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