Our magnificent bastard tongue : the untold history of English / John McWhorter
- McWhorter, John H.
- New York : Gotham Books, 
- Copyright Date:
- Physical Description:
- xxiii, 230 pages ; 20 cm
- 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.
- 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.
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 199-211) and index.
- Source of Acquisition:
- Scranton copy: Purchased with funds from the Paterno Libraries Endowment; 20089.
- Endowment Note:
- Paterno Libraries Endowment (Campus College Libraries)
View MARC record | catkey: 4831653