Why do we say âI am reading a catalogâ instead of âI read a catalogâ? Why do we say âdoâ at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more,Â Our Magnificent Bastard LanguageÂ 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,Â Our Magnificent Bastard TongueÂ ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of Englishâ 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, itâs not a sin to end a sentence with a preposition).
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.
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