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Our magnificent bastard tongue : the untold history of English

Author: John H McWhorter
Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, 2008. ©2008.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
African American non-fiction
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: John H McWhorter
ISBN: 9781592403950 1592403956
OCLC Number: 223800760
Description: xxiii, 230 pages ; 20 cm.
Contents: We speak a miscegenated grammar --
A lesson from the Celtic impact --
We speak a battered grammar --
Does our grammar channel our thought? --
Skeletons in the closet.
Responsibility: John McWhorter.
More information:

Abstract:

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.

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