An Odyssey; A Father, A Son, and An Epic Daniel Mendelsohn I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mendelsohn is a College teacher and in the book he is about to begin teaching an undergraduate seminar on The Odyssey when he decides to invite his father to audit the course as an attempt to connect with him. Mendelsohn has come out as a homosexual and hopes to reach through the wall that
Trip of the Tongue, Cross-country Travels In Search of America’s Languages; Elizabeth Little; Bloomsbury, 2012 Little is an obvious fan of language study. This book traces her search for languages (in the US) that are disappearing or at least are in danger, in the face of the predominance of English. It isn’t an academic study and it isn’t as broad-based as the title might suggest, however it is an
Words and Rules; The Ingredients of Language; Stephen Pinker, Basic Books 1999 Reviewed by Graham Mulligan The subject of this book is regular and irregular verbs. Everyone leans their native language in roughly the same way; lots of words and concepts assembled together following patterns and rules. People don’t just “blurt out words but rather combine them into phrases and sentences. So, what’s the issue with the verbs?