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disbell  ·  1168 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: August 10th: What are you reading this week?

I'm reading Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter. It's a history of English, and McWhorter presents the case that English is so different from other Germanic languages (Dutch, German, Frisian, etc) because of Celtic influence between the Jute/Saxon invasions and the Normans.

It's pretty well written, in terms of style, but I feel that it occupies kind of a weird space. What I mean is that the treatment of the material might bore a layperson (and McWhorter can get a bit repetitious when trying to drive a point home), yet as someone somewhat familiar with formal linguistics (I do applied ling), I find myself wanting a more technical treatment with more in-text citations. Other pop-Ling that I've read, like Pinker's Language Instinct, feels brisker and more accessible, yet still able to provide enough meat to a semi-specialist.