Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language

Globish How the English Language Became the World s Language How English conquered the world a Guns Germs and Steel argument based on the power of the word It seems impossible a small island in the North Atlantic colonized by Rome then pillaged for hundreds

  • Title: Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language
  • Author: Robert McCrum
  • ISBN: 9780393062557
  • Page: 352
  • Format: Hardcover
  • How English conquered the world a Guns, Germs, and Steel argument based on the power of the word It seems impossible a small island in the North Atlantic, colonized by Rome, then pillaged for hundreds of years by marauding neighbors, becomes the dominant world power in the nineteenth century Equally unlikely, a colony of that island nation, across the Atlantic, grows iHow English conquered the world a Guns, Germs, and Steel argument based on the power of the word It seems impossible a small island in the North Atlantic, colonized by Rome, then pillaged for hundreds of years by marauding neighbors, becomes the dominant world power in the nineteenth century Equally unlikely, a colony of that island nation, across the Atlantic, grows into the military and cultural colossus of the twentieth century How By the sword, of course by trade and industrial ingenuity but principally, and most surprisingly, by the power of their common language In this provocative and compelling new look at the course of empire, Robert McCrum, coauthor of the best selling book and television series The Story of English, shows how the language of the Anglo American imperium has become the world s lingua franca In fascinating detail he describes the ever accelerating changes wrought on the language by the far flung cultures claiming citizenship in the new hegemony In the twenty first century, writes the author, English Microsoft Globish

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      Published :2018-07-14T06:22:16+00:00

    1 thought on “Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language”

    1. I wrote recently about another book that "The author is like a toddler who can not make it from one end of a room to the other because he keeps getting distracted by what he passes on the way." You have to wonder what destination McCrum had in mind, at all. 90 percent of the book had only a minor tangential relationship to the putative topic of the book, if at all. Why are we reading about the Gold Rush? Why does McCrum describe Samuel Johnson's physical tics? I found myself skimming through bit [...]

    2. Whew. I was certainly expecting more from this book. I am immensely disappointed. This book was scattershot--the author introduces a term, "Globish", without ever really defining or describing it, and then takes the reader on a poorly organized, pell-mell rush through history, supposedly showing the evolution of English and then Globish, whatever that is. It appears by Globish the author means more a worldview than a specific language? Or perhaps he just means English? I'm really not sure. The a [...]

    3. Terrible book, I can't believe I plowed all the way through it. It perpetrates a fraud on the reader, claiming to have something to do with the spread of English as an international language, while it's really a rambling, disjointed, incoherent jumble of passages loosely related to the development and spread of Anglo-American culture. It reads like a first draft, or perhaps a mind dump to which some editor added a title instead of forcing the author to rewrite the text around some kind of unifyi [...]

    4. Robert McCrum's "Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language", narrated by James Langton is about the history of the English language and it's rise as the new "Lingua Franca". The English language, in it's many forms has become the major language of international commerce, science and the internet. According to wiki, only Mandarin and Spanish have more native speakers than English. Perhaps more people speak English as their primary or secondary language than any other language [...]

    5. I see what McCrum was getting at and I think his premise is on the money. English, or something more or less like it, is becoming the default spoken and written form for a diaspora of many people, tied by a common need to communicate comprehensibly.But Globish isn't the book it could have, or should have, been. It's interesting enough and there are a number of interesting anecdotes and points made throughout, but it lacks a strong central narrative beyond the idea of Globish itself to tie it tog [...]

    6. I bought this because I wanted something breezy, non-fictional and read in an English accent to accompany me on my walk to the park.I got that, so I ought not complain.However, anyone looking for a deep understanding of the spread of English, rigorous scholarship, or even well organised thought will be sorely disappointed. What we get instead is a survey of the English language so broad as the be trite more often than not, several interesting anecdotes, and some gross oversimplification, like th [...]

    7. Globish is an ambitious book - it tries to provide a "biography" of the English language from its origins to its spread as a global lingua franca. Unfortunately, it doesn't fully achieve its goal, and fizzles out in platitudes and anecdotes rather than insights.The term "Globish" was originally coined in 1995 to refer to the English employed as the default lingua franca for business and government that emerged in the late 20th century; but it seems the author now wants "Globish" to means somethi [...]

    8. I assumed that a book about English would be written in fairly good English, but boy, was I wrong. Globish appears to have been the victim of some dastardly comma heist, creating these garden path sentences that only lead somewhere after several re-readings. Information is repeated needlessly, and there are several pages that are just fact- and quotation-dumps that lack deeper exploration or connection to the greater thesis. But there's the main problem with this book — it doesn't have a great [...]

    9. Not having read anything else by McCrum, I was surprised at how many media outlets reviewed 'Globish.' It appears many are quite familiar with him from his stint as literary editor of The Observer, his bio of P.G. Wodehouse, and most especially his work on the late 80s PBS series, 'The Story of English' and its accompanying book.While the reviews are generally favorable, there seems to be an uncomfortable and less enthusiatic consensus regarding McCrum's theory that 'Globish,' a simplified versi [...]

    10. Reviewers were charmed by Globish in much the same manner as McCrum is charmed by English. They found his book expansive yet incisive, erudite yet accessible, powerful yet disarmingly cheerful, if somewhat uneven when charting the history of English through the centuries. But few critics actually accepted the book's putative argument: that English is becoming Globish and that Globish will be the language of the world. Many reviewers noted that McCrum's definition of "Globish" is flexible at best [...]

    11. I listened to half of the audiobook, which basically tracks the development of England and the USA with linguistics as its tentpole. It's interesting in theory, but I was bored by its structure, which is typical to any pop-non-fiction book with a lofty premise ("Didja know the history of the US can be traced through five types of shoes?!" "This is the story of how one itchy wig changed the entire tone of the Constitution" "HEY people in the old days liked sex and swearing so the ebb and flow of [...]

    12. Only last 2,5 chapters deal with the current situation of English's global dominance. And that was the reason I took the book in the first place. Despite its promising name first 12,5 chapters deal largely with the history of English. Interesting read, but still not exactly what I was looking for. Those of you how like me think that Globish is a subject of the XX-XXI centuries only beware - and thus forearmed - dash straight to the last 60 something pages ;)

    13. Hmm. Started out strong, veered into cringingly superficial American history, and thent entirely sure where it was going, and I didn't really care. Put it down a long time ago and have no interest in finishing it.

    14. An insightful, well-written and entertaining romp through the evolution of the English language. McCrum provides his readers with a vast display of knowledge in the fields of history, literature, politics, media and internet to name just few. Well worth reading.

    15. Abandoned on page 46 of 266. Supposedly about how English became a world language and we've just reached the Hundred Years War. More a general history of English, and not a particularly good one.

    16. A delightful walk through world history and development of the modern lingua franca, the English language. Not too deep, but interesting enough and pleasant to listen to.

    17. Beware, David Crystal: You have a silver medal competitor in McCrum – who co-wrote the phenomenal The Story of English back in the 80s. In just under three hundred pages, McCrum does an amazing job not just recounting the history of our mother tongue from as far back as the Anglo-Saxon period in England during the first millennium, but explains the amazing story of how our language has become a truly global language with dozens of dynamic variants that can be found in all four corners of our g [...]

    18. This book should have been perfect for me (history of the English language! sociolinguistics! I'm sold!), but it took me far longer to finish this book than it should have done because I spent most of the time feeling frustrated with the book. The book displays a tendency to over-romanticize, and it also contains some factual errors. I'll give a brief example, from page 24: "Albion [an old, probably Celtic, name for Britain] was a place of chalky giants, primitive sorcery, sun worship and sea mo [...]

    19. That English, with its imperfect set of rules, could be the ideal language for the average new global person is a very interesting concept indeed. Created from the bottom up rather than from the top down as snobbish French or Latin were, certainly sets a great foundation to the argument. In large part, the book is a historic recollection more than a technical white paper on the logic behind the author's argument. Thus, it feels a little diluted while still an entertaining read.

    20. I like books about the development of language, and was hoping for good things from this book. But it didn't fully live up to those expectations.The book is split into several sections, and the first is about the co evolution of the English language and the people of this country. He writes about the way that we have moved from the Celtic languages, and the influx of Saxon, Norse and French peoples and the way that they have shaped the words we speak today. There is a whole section on the Americ [...]

    21. If you're expecting Fry's English Delight, look elsewhere. This one should be called "Anglo-US History (plus lots of quotations)". It might be ok if this is what you were after, but since it wasn't, I wasn't overly keen on it.

    22. Positive: A book full of facts, historical accounts and interesting observations. And mostly well researched, it seems. However, a bit erratic. Negative: The author jumps between the epochs (no chronology makes it difficult to follow his thoughts and arguments). He also seems to be very hooked on the British perspective, although he can't discuss "Globish" without considering the US view. Disappointing: It is not really a book about language(s). McCrum gives only very few, and deliberate, exampl [...]

    23. I have read many books on language and linguistics and have enjoyed most of them immensely. One of these great works isThe Story of English , a delightful account of the history of the English language that is co-authored by McCrum (author ofGlobish) .The Story of Englishis informative, detailed, meticulously researched, and beautifully written. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said forGlobish . When I read the table of contents for this book, I got the sense that McCrum had lined up the right [...]

    24. This is a nice overview of the history of modern English from its origins to its current state as the world's lingua franca. I was looking for something a bit more technical to understand better why English captured footholds where it has, but this tells of the cultural and historical events that led to English being adopted throughout Britain's empire in the formative years from the 17th to 20th centuries. A better book about the technical lineage of English is McWhorter's Our Magnificent Basta [...]

    25. I gave up: this was a DNF for me. I think if I were an Anglophile, I would have enjoyed this more. I picked it up expecting to learn about the origins and global impact of the English language. It mostly seemed to be about English and U.S. history (from a Team England point of view) with a little bit about language changes as seen in the writings of Chaucer, Twain, etc. Some of the historical pieces were interesting, but some of them even I - definitely not a history buff - could recognize as be [...]

    26. Globish is about how English became the dominant language in today's world. That means tracing a lot of English history from the Roman conquest all the way to present-day UK/USA and the presence of English in China and India.I went into this book thinking it would be a large amount of historical linguistics (one of my favourite topics in linguistics), but it was a lot more history than historical linguistics. Linguistics does play a part, as McCrum mentions, in the Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Latin and o [...]

    27. This book is about how English has leapt across the borders of the UK and the US and become a global language used by many people in many nations.It was interesting but there was far too much time spent on the historical rise of the English language and far too little on the new global forms and their impact on the world today.I would like to know more about Indian English, Singlish (Singaporean English) and Rwanda's decision to replace French with English as its language of instruction in schoo [...]

    28. It was a nice travel through UK history, which I am still a little rough on. But I'm more interested in stuff that's a little more academic, and this one was on the light side. At the same time, it did make me understand some of what the world is going through, trying to resist assimilation into a single global culture. But it didn't convince me that English is really any more special than any other language. All languages borrow from other languages. If the author had given me something compell [...]

    29. I was hoping to like this more than I actually did. I enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book more than the last 1/3. The first 2/3 talk a lot about English became English and the changes and spread that occurred as Great Britain colonized the world.After that it talked about how English slowly is being used globally and transformed into a lingual franca "Globish." I am not entirely sure why I liked this part less. Maybe because it felt like the author was arguing a case for why English is becoming co [...]

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