Top critical review
Promising but with too much suckiness in the end (nudge, nudge)
on 10 November 2014
This is the kind of book you initially want to like, but in the end it falls short of the mark. The main problem is the author - he is a tad too full of himself and has not done his research very well. The author admits to not being someone who is trained to know stuff about languages and their use, yet it doesn't stop him from venting all sorts of little theories about why things are the way they are, based on his own experience or intuition. This makes that the book sometimes feels scholarly, but the scholar actually has no clothes. To make matters worse, the author has clearly not even used such a simple and obvious tool as Google to do fact-checking. His remarks about Dutch and Swedish swearwords (which I happen to be very familiar with) are mostly just wrong (and many simple mistakes, such as the spelling of 'kut' -not 'kot'- could have easily have been prevented using Google or an independent source) - I suspect his selection of languages was determined by his circle of friends and that he has believed everything they told him without checking. Again, very unscholarly behaviour. Finally, the author also has an annoying habit to drop names of famous people he knows or knew ('a bit') where this has absolutely no relevance for the subject matter. So, while there is some interesting content, the pretentiousness of the author makes this only a very average book.