Jules's Reviews > What Language Is: And What It Isn't and What It Could Be

What Language Is by John McWhorter
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's review
Jul 31, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: blog-tour, reviewed, sent-4-review

My full review with the 3.5 rating can be viewed at http://onebookshy.blogspot.com

John McWhorter has brought us an original and upbeat look at language. The full title tells it all: What Language Is (And What It Isn't and What It Could Be). I knew this book would be interesting, I just didn't realize it would also be fun.

With tidbits such as the fact that the written word is only about 5500 years old versus the 150000 years of the spoken word; we are taken on a wild linguistical journey from Ancient Greece and beyond. The study of language has the propensity to be a dry subject but with McWhorter guiding us it becomes fascinating and a bit clearer in some aspects. I learned much about this fabulous tool we use to communicate.

I really liked the style of writing. The author doesn't "write down" to his audience or even "dummy it up" for us. He makes linguistics available and approachable to the average reader. His love of language definitely shines through in this delightful book and gives us much to ponder.


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