Authors & Events
Oct 27, 2009
| ISBN 9781592404940
Oct 30, 2008
| ISBN 9781440634048
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Oct 27, 2009 | ISBN 9781592404940
Oct 30, 2008 | ISBN 9781440634048
A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammarWhy 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).
John H. McWhorter teaches linguistics, American Studies, and music history at Columbia University. He is a contributing editor at the Atlantic and host of Slate’s Lexicon Valley podcast. McWhorter is the author of twenty books, including The Power of Babel:… More about John McWhorter
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