Trade Ed. Audible, Inc. 2009
DD ISBN $19.95
McWhorter’s energetic, brash delivery of his own spirited and iconoclastic text will appeal to everyone who appreciates the range and caliber of today’s audio production. In some ways, audio is superior to printed text in portraying tone, attitude, values, and in this case, a discussion whose theme is the sound and grammar of words. Many assumptions about English’s roots and evolution are based on faulty reasoning and historical misunderstanding. McWhorter negates these assumptions, focusing on familiar features of English vocabulary and syntax. The details may elude listeners, but the broad picture is clear and enlightening. And how many other readers could deliver a sentence in Old Norse or Chaucerian quite so trippingly? McWhorter’s distinctive voice and delivery in this fine production achieve the difficult task of making a specialized text accessible to a wider audience. D.A.W. © AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2011]
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