Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue Image

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”? 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).

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🗸 Title: Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue
🗸 Rating : 4.5 from 5 stars (24 reviews)
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Readers' opinions about Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter

This is a book I'll cherish and recommend to everyone. It touched my soul and made me reflect on life's profound mysteries.

The characters in this book felt like old friends, and I was sad to say goodbye to them at the end. It's a testament to the author's talent for creating memorable and relatable personas.

The themes of resilience and hope resonated deeply with me. This book taught me valuable life lessons that I'll carry with me for years to come.

More by John McWhorter

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