Doing Our Own Thing

Doing Our Own Thing : The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care

3.61 (252 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Once languages become written, they change. Only in writing does language develop the artfulness and richness that we associate with a Shakespeare, a Proust or a Whitman. Yet over the last forty years, the English-language has effectively gone into reverse - taking our lead from America and the legacy of the 1960s, our culture increasingly privileges the oral over the written, spurning the art of elaborated, 'written'-style language in favour of returning to the state of a spoken culture. Parallel developments have occurred in music.

In this controversial and thought-provoking book, John McWhorter argues that the 1960's rejection of cultural traits associated with the Establishment, as well as a democratic celebration of what anyone can do over what requires training or talent, has led to our culture being increasingly impoverished, both intellectually and artistically...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 19mm | 213g
  • ARROW BOOKS LTD
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0099445352
  • 9780099445357
  • 1,047,096

Review Text

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'Fascinating... Generally persuasive and always entertainingly argued... An arresting thesis... McWhorter's...examples reflect a wide-ranging knowledge of popular culture, and he is full of odd, illuminating facts.'

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Review quote

"'Fascinating... Generally persuasive and always entertainingly argued... An arresting thesis... McWhorter's...examples reflect a wide-ranging knowledge of popular culture, and he is full of odd, illuminating facts.'" * Independent * "'Every generation believes that language is in decline, but Doing Our Own Thing argues that this time the concern is real... John McWhorter's...analysis is insightful, richly documented, and yes, eloquently written.'" * Steven Pinker *
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About John H. McWhorter

John McWhorter is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and an associate Professor of Linguistics at UC Berkeley. He is the author of The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, as well as a book about black English, The Word on the Street.
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Rating details

252 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 19% (47)
4 40% (102)
3 27% (69)
2 10% (26)
1 3% (8)
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