“This language is like a honey badger. This language just don’t care. This language will kick your booty.”Language Families of the World by John McWhorter
This is a book for those with the passion of languages and linguistics. John McWhorter takes us across the globe and teaches us the common traits languages and their families share. As well as, showing us how languages can change over the course of hundreds and hundreds of years. Dr. McWhorter shows how languages could have even developed from the craziest and most difficult of languages such as the Click Languages into something such as English. In this book, you go through 35 courses that opens up your knowledge of the very thing so many of us take for granted. Language is a terrifying and beautiful thing.
Non-fiction, History, Language, Lessons, Linguistics
Why This Rating?
This is a fantastic lecture to listen to if you get an opportunity or time for it. John McWhorter is a master at his craft in linguistics and it definitely shows in his courses that he has written. I was always intrigued in the information he was putting forth. You do have to have so type of interest in languages and linguistics for this to have any entertainment factor. If you don’t then this could easily seem like another school lecture you are being forced into.
As a professor, you can definitely tell the Dr. McWhorter is very passionate about linguistics. I was really enjoying all of the words he was able to say from so many different languages thanks to his years of study. Also, he was not ashamed of calling himself out if something was said wrong or correcting himself towards sounds from the different languages. And if he didn’t want to mess it up he allowed moments for real speakers to come across the readings. It was mind blowing hearing all of the sounds he would be able to produce and the patience he had to walk through a simple transition from a proto-word to a modern term.
I did not care for some of the voices that he changed to when quoting or reading from another individual’s writing. There were a few I was okay with, but a couple of them just seemed a bit to funny to be taken seriously. And you can hear him struggle to keep a straight tone through these readings. During those brief readings I was a bit thrown out of the reading. I know he was trying to keep a difference between him and another author’s work, but it was a bit too much on those few.
As an overall, I loved the fact I was able to dip back into a topic that I absolutely love. Especially one that I had so much studying about while I was in college. Dr. McWhorter keeps his lessons fun, fresh, and always entertaining. And he was enjoying the discussion just as much as I was, which was really nice to hear. The division of the lessons he has created were easy to follow and cohesively put together. I am super happy about this one. If you ever go into something with this topic, it is a perfect reference piece to use!
Time to get lost in the next story!