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Katzner's Languages of the World

From:J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...>
Date:Friday, November 16, 2001, 6:42
In a message dated 15.11.2001 06:52:40 PM, Matthew.Pearson@DIRECTORY.REED.EDU

>--- Yoon Ha Lee wrote: > >>I picked up _Languages of the World_ by Kenneth Katzner a few weeks ago. >>It's an interesting, *very* breezy survey of world languages, probably >>not really useful linguistically (the author works for the U.S. federal >gov't) >--- end of quote --- > >I would go so far as to say linguistically useless--though not entirely >impractical, since studying the textual examples can help you identify >different languages from written texts (a sort of language equivalent to >a bird-watcher's field guide). >
LMAOROTF, HM!, my sentiments exactly in regards to this book. I took one look thru it & said this guy is one of those 1950's birdwatchin' government bureaucrat Bible-thumpers who has one of those old blocky black nylon eyeglasses on... still (if he is still breathing [maybe he got buried with them on]). Ever read _The Ugly American_?
> <SNiP> that book in my high school library played a pivotal role in my
becoming a >linguist--that and Mario Pei's "The Story of Language", another seriously flawed work. >Both books have places of honour on my bookshelf. I have 2 old fav's too: _The Loom of Language_ by Frederick Bodmer, edited by Lancelot Hogben (1st American edition! A 1944 "A Wartime Book" edition at that!) [Nice feature: "Language Museum" - 2 rather large "basic vocabularies" in both major "Teutonic" and Romance Languages compared!!!!) and talkin' of Mario Pei: _How to Learn Languages and What Languages to Learn_ - a very flawed work... I got mad at his insisting pidgins and creoles are "baby-talk", etc. then saying IIRC Bahasa Malay had it's start as a pidgin and that it is becoming a real language, etc.. Pei's book is now superseded by Barry Farber's book: _How To Learn Any Language Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and On Your Own_. One of the best layman books on the subject of language learning techniques (yes/ja, PLURAL. Farber calls it "the Multi-Track Attack". I would call it "the B.A.M.N.&I. (By Any Means Necessary & Intriguing) Path"). czHANg {humours not marked or dyed pending further melancolic lab results}