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What books are you reading?

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Free e-books if anyone is interested:

Free e-books if anyone is interested:
-panzer (December 21, 2015, 05:14 AM)
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I cross posted your links to a Free eBooks thread

I'm just after finishing Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue The Untold History of English by John McWhorter (amazon link).

The main topic is the evolution of English grammar -- the way he writes suggests he's proposing theories that are not generally accepted. Writing style a bit odd at times, but I got used to it. Well worth reading imo :up:

Two main points are that, compared to Proto-Germanic, (the ancestor of all Germanic languages) and also to other modern Germanic languages:

English gained from the native Celtic languages:

* what he describes as a meaningless 'do', e.g. why do we use the word 'do'? Apparently unknown almost anywhere else in the world apart from the native Celtic languages (he quotes Welsh & Cornish)
* we also gained the phrasing: I am writing -- instead of I write as in other Germanic languages e.g. ich schreibe
and English lost via the Vikings (more info below):

* loads of suffixes (especially with verbs, but also nouns)
* nouns having gender
* most reflexive verbs -- e.g. the German ich erinnere mich translates to I remember. Remnants in English are e.g. I behave myself
* hither / tither / man (now one/you) / some prefixes / etc.
* using the 'be' verb to make a past tense of action verbs -- a remnant of same from Jane Austen: I am so glad we are got acquaintedThe Viking theory involve a huge influx of adults who learned the language fairly poorly and passed this on to their kids. A different but comparable modern example being when immigrants want to give their children the new language, and they haven't already learned it well themselves, the children tend to learn a simplified version of same.

Just finished:

Currently reading:

Decided to try to refresh some of my high-school and college math skills.  Read a couple of very lightweight intro books on statistics.. next up is some calculus.


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