Top critical review
39 people found this helpful
on 10 January 2005
I was very disappointed with this book - by setting himself to batter any other speaker than those select few RP speakers, Humphrys needs to be able to defend his views. Not only does he fail, he makes a real pig's ear of it and comes out looking like the slightly dull-brained BBC media pedant that I suspect deep-down he is.
His arguments are utterly unscholarly - he does not back up his points, nor provide evidence - the few times he does he is jarringly incorrect (being a scholar of English Language and Linguistics I know!)
His anecdotes are awkwardly rammed into paragraphs, many of which bear little relation to his already rambling arguments and often appear little more than an excuse to tell us how he met the famous x,y or z.
The idiocy of what he argues verges upon humour in places - citing the English Language as being 'overweight' with words. Again he doesn't elaborate on this bizarre opinion, nor provide any examples, nor provide any academic proof - indeed the 'overweightness' of our language is one its greatest beauties and powers.
Still after all this you'd expect at least such a linguistic pedant would at least have a good command of language and silvertongue his way out of an awful book, alas no - his style of writing is mind-numbingly basic and full of irritating features such as ungrammatical archaisms - desk-top pc, type-writer etc...
So do yourself a favour and buy a different book,
and say a little prayer for the poor proofreader of this trash...