most ill-informed review of a language book ever written? 
Posted: 30 December 2012 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]
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This should get your hackles up as we exit the perineum of the year when the Grauniad must haul in the worst of its hacks, grateful for the work.

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Posted: 30 December 2012 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s not only ill-informed, but it’s incompetently written. My Dog! Doesn’t anyone know how to write a paragraph anymore?

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Posted: 30 December 2012 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It also doesn’t provide an actual review of the book, as far as I can tell.  Not that I would give a lot of weight to the reviewer’s opinion in any event, but, still, it seems like some sort of analysis of the merits of a book should be attempted in a book review.

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Posted: 30 December 2012 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Ogilvie, an Australian recruited by the dictionary team in Oxford to research foreign lendings, cleverly documents the discomfort of little England as it watched the language of Shakespeare and Milton turn into an indiscriminate Esperanto.

Did, in fact, the English of Shakespeare contain a lower percentage of foreign words than modern English does? It would surprise me if it did.

Though all theoretically English, these global words are played by instruments that include the bagpipes, the Welsh harp, African drums, Arab flutes and the didgeridoo.

Words are played by instruments? I realise he is using metaphor, but it still clunks.

But yes, instead of a review, this seems to be a sample of the information contained in the book.

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Posted: 31 December 2012 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It is indeed a terrible review, or attempt at a review, or deconstruction of the concept of a review, or whatever it is.  But although it’s on the Grauniad‘s website, it’s credited to The Observer, Saturday 29 December 2012.

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