WRITTEN IN STONE by Christopher Stevens | Kirkus Reviews
Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Fun and light. Combining the dexterity of a linguist, aphilologist's passion for the influence of words on cultural history, and ataste for the bizarre, as befits a TV critic for London's Daily Mail, theauthor takes us on a detailed tour of a language that is profoundly alive inour everyday speech and literature.
Demonstrates considerable prowess in makingthe journey both edifying and entertaining. Always enlightening and engaging. This is a delight for anyone who loves language in any form. And you'll beastonished by how familiar it all sounds. Show More Show Less. Any Condition Any Condition. See all 8. Compare similar products.
You Are Viewing. Trending Price New. No ratings or reviews yet. It rather all runs together like listening to a reading of a phone book. A bit of organizing in to chapters would have helped. I will be buying the ebook version.
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What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you? This book gives linguistics a bad name.
It propagates bad science and worse understandings of human language. Obviously I didn't expect a pop-science book about language to get everything right, but the ideas this book spreads are not only wrong but reprehensible in the deepest way. Let's quickly debunk the entire first 15 minutes of this book.
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The first thing the author claims in that the first words acted out their meaning, that they were all onomatopoeia, that 'Poop,' the word, acts out our reaction to poop. This isn't backed up by science, but it's possible, that is until he implies that this was the case for our ancestors less than 10, years ago. If he was saying this was how our ape-like ancestors, hundreds of thousands of years ago, spoke then it'd be plausible, but he didn't so it isn't. This is absurd notion appeals to the idea that 'primitive people' speak 'primitive languages' which has been thoroughly debunked and is a bit racist.
After, some terrible etymologies and mistakes that a simple google search would reveal No it is not the sometimes called 'proto-indo-european' it's always called 'proto-indo-european' He goes into the history of the study of the proto-indo-european culture. He actually does a fairly good job about this. Bafflingly though, he fails to explain, why the word 'Aryan' fell out of use before being replaced by the term proto-indo-european. Simply saying "it took on a sinister tone in the s," without explaining why it took on that sinister tone.
However right before I stopped listening it became very clear why he didn't explain it.
Written in Stone: A Journey Through the Stone Age and the Origins of Modern Language
I'm sure you all can guess, but the word 'Aryan' fell out of use because the Nazis that the Aryan people were the 'ubermensch' and that all other types of people needed to be exterminated. This was partly based on the idea that the Aryan proto-indo-european languages were fundamentally superior and that they were superior because their speakers superior. This is why they killed Jews, or how they justified it, Jews were semitic people, not proto-indo-european their languages were inferior and their people were inferior. Christopher Stevens didn't go that far at least in the first 15 minutes but immediately after glossing over the 'sinister tone' of the word 'Aryan.
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This has been thoroughly debunked by linguists. This idea was used in the 19th century to justify the destruction of the American Indian. It was was used to justify Imperialism, it was used to justify the holocaust. What do you think your next listen will be? Lingo, Lingo, Lingo. Did Michael Healy do a good job differentiating all the characters? What character would you cut from Written in Stone?
Every character in the book. As in every character that makes up the text.. Any additional comments? This was entertaining and eye-opening. I appreciate how natural he makes this subject, and now I'm appalled by comparing how we actually teach such a basic human subject as language!
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Kudos to the narrator! What a difficult book to have read aloud!
I thought I would enjoy this book, as I'm very interested in the subject matter. But the book is a very short introduction of the development of the theory of a proto-Indo European language, followed by chapter after chapter exploring examples of words in English and to a lesser extent other languages that the writer claims come from those simple original words. This is mildly interesting for a few goes but soon becomes tedious, especially as there seems to be quite a lot of cherry-picking for words that suit.
I'd hesitate to recommend this book to anyone. What will your next listen be?
Possibly something by David Crystal. New New. About this product Product Identifiers Publisher. Additional Product Features Author s. Show more Show less. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. Best-selling in Non Fiction See all.
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