Tagged: story of english


wordstruckWordstruck: A Memoir by Robert MacNeil, 2/5

MacNeil is obviously a highly successful and intelligent man (to judge from his Wikipedia article and contributions to The Story of English) but this memoir is very dull and would, I think, be of little interest to anyone not actually related to him.  Perhaps it suffers from too much humility in the presentation or perhaps it’s just that people who write more exciting memoirs tend to lie a lot.

[Why I read it: it was a present from my mom and I liked MacNeil’s work in The Story of English].

The Story of English

storyofenglishThe Story of English (New and Revised Edition) by Robert McCrum, William Cran, and Robert MacNeil, 5/5

Any doubts as to this book’s authoritativeness were quelled upon learning the illustrious identity of its three main consultants – the Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, the Editor-in-Chief of the Random House Dictionary and Professor Sir Randolph Quirk (who presumably has credentials as fantastic as his name).  Though, at 10 years old, it could use an update, this book is readable, comprehensive, well-researched and supported by an excellent annotated bibliography.

[Why I read it: it was a birthday gift from my parents.]