WorldCat Identities

McWhorter, John H.

Works: 101 works in 326 publications in 2 languages and 17,543 library holdings
Genres: Criticism, interpretation, etc  History  Essays  Documentary films  Nonfiction films  Conference papers and proceedings  Filmed lectures  Educational films  Debates  Television debates 
Roles: Author, Editor, Speaker, Commentator, Other
Classifications: PE2808.8, 305.896073
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by John H McWhorter
Losing the race : self-sabotage in Black America by John H McWhorter( Book )

11 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 1,697 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Explains why "victimhood" is exaggerated and enshrined in African-American families and discusses why these attitudes are destructive to future generations
Doing our own thing : the degradation of language and music and why we should, like, care by John H McWhorter( Book )

12 editions published between 2003 and 2005 in English and held by 1,636 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Encourages readers to establish a boundary between an acceptable evolution of language and outright language misuse, predicting the consequences of the overuse of street English in contemporary writing, music, and society
The power of Babel : a natural history of language by John H McWhorter( Book )

23 editions published between 2001 and 2003 in English and held by 1,454 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Full of humor and imaginative insight, The Power of Babel draws its illustrative examples from languages around the world, including pidgins, creoles, and nonstandard dialects. McWhorter also discusses current theories on what the first language might have been like, why dialects should not be considered "bad speech," and why most of today's languages will be extinct within one hundred years." "The first book written for the layperson about the natural history of language, The Power of Babel is a dazzling tour de force that will leave readers anything but speechless."--Jacket
Winning the race : beyond the crisis in Black America by John H McWhorter( Book )

8 editions published between 2005 and 2007 in English and held by 1,104 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Four decades after the great victories of the Civil Rights Movement secured equal rights for African-Americans, black America is in crisis. Indeed, by most measurable standards, conditions for many blacks have grown worse since 1965: desperate poverty, incarceration rates, teenage pregnancy and out-of- wedlock births, and educational failures. For years, pundits have blamed these problems on forces outside the black community. But now, in a broad-ranging re-envisioning of the post-Civil Rights black American experience, author McWhorter argues that black America's current problems began with an unintended byproduct of the Civil Rights revolution, a crippling mindset of "therapeutic alienation." This wary stance toward mainstream American culture, although it is a legacy of racism in the past, continues to hold blacks back, and McWhorter traces the poisonous effects of this defeatist attitude. McWhorter puts forth a new vision of black leadership, arguing that both blacks and whites must abolish the culture of victimhood.--From publisher description
Authentically Black : essays for the Black silent majority by John H McWhorter( Book )

7 editions published between 2002 and 2014 in English and held by 950 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In his New York Times bestseller, Losing the Race, John McWhorter, a Berkeley linguistics professor, tried to make sense of why so many African-Americans continue to define themselves by race and examined what he calls the cult of Victimology, Separatism, and Anti-Intellectualism he has witnessed on America's college campuses. In Authentically Black, McWhorter broadens his lens in this penetrating and profound collection of essays that continue his exploration of what it means to be black in America today. According to McWhorter, nearly forty years after the Civil Rights Act, African-Americans in this country still remain "a race apart." He feels that modern black Americans have internalized a tacit message: "authentically black" people stress initiative in private but cloak the race in victimhood in public in order to protect black people from an ever-looming white backlash. McWhorter terms this phenomenon the "New Double Consciousness" in homage to W.E.B. Dubois's description of a different kind of double consciousness in blacks a century ago. It is within this context that McWhorter takes us on a guided tour through the race issues dominating our current discourse: racial profiling, getting past race, the reparations movement, black stereotypes in film and television, black leadership, diversity, affirmative action, the word nigger, and Cornel West's resignation from Harvard. With his fierce intelligence and fervent eloquence, John McWhorter makes a powerful case for the advancement of true racial equality. Authentically Black is a timely and important work about issues that must be addressed by blacks and whites alike. Authentically Black is a book for Americans of every racial, social, political, and economic persuasion
The word on the street : fact and fable about American English by John H McWhorter( Book )

14 editions published between 1998 and 2007 in English and held by 946 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In The Word on the Street, John McWhorter reveals our American English in all its variety, beauty, and expressiveness. Debunking the myth of a "pure" standard English, he considers the speech patterns and accents of many regions and ethnic groups in the U.S. and demonstrates how language evolves. He takes up the tricky question of gender-neutral pronouns. He dares to ask, "Should we translate Shakespeare?" Focusing on whether how our children speak determines how they learn, he presents the controversial Ebonics debate in light of his research on dialects and creoles. The Word on the Street frees us to truly speak our minds. It is John McWhorter's answer to William Safire, transformed here into everybody's Aunt Lucy, who insists on correcting our grammar and making us feel slightly embarrassed about our everyday use of the language. ("To whom," she will insist, and "don't split your infinitives!") He reminds us that we'd better accept the fact that language is always changing - not only slang, but sound, syntax, and words' meanings - and get on with the business of communicating effectively with one another. --From publisher's description
Our magnificent bastard tongue : the untold history of English by John H McWhorter( Book )

13 editions published between 2008 and 2014 in English and held by 914 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, author McWhorter distills hundreds of years of lore into one lively history. Covering the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century AD, and drawing on genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, McWhorter ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English--and its ironic simplicity, due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. This is the book that language aficionados have been waiting for.--From publisher description
What language is : and what it isn't and what it could be by John H McWhorter( Book )

10 editions published between 2011 and 2012 in English and held by 810 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"A provocative look at how languages originate, divide, multiply, and work"--Page [2] of jacket
The language hoax : why the world looks the same in any language by John H McWhorter( Book )

8 editions published between 2014 and 2016 in English and held by 518 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Japanese has a term that covers both green and blue. Russian has separate terms for dark and light blue. Does this mean that Russians perceive these colors differently from Japanese people? Does language control and limit the way we think, such that each language gives its speakers a different 'worldview?' This opinionated book addresses the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which argues that the language we speak shapes the way we perceive the world. Linguist John McWhorter argues that while this idea is mesmerizing, it is plainly wrong ... McWhorter shows not only how the idea of language as a lens fails but also why we want so badly to believe it: we're eager to celebrate diversity by acknowledging the intelligence of peoples who may not think like we do. Though well-intentioned, our belief in this idea poses an obstacle to a better understanding of human nature and even trivializes the people we seek to celebrate. The reality--that all humans think alike--provides another, better way for us to acknowledge the intelligence of all peoples."--Jacket
Best of enemies by Kenneth Clarke( Visual )

3 editions published in 2015 in English and held by 497 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In the summer of 1968 television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other's political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight battle, they pummeled out policy and personal insult--their explosive exchanges devolving into vitrolic name-calling. Live an unscripted, they kept viewers riveted. Ratings for ABC News skyrocketed, and a new era in public discourse was born
All about the beat : why hip-hop can't save Black America by John H McWhorter( Book )

2 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 410 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"In All About the Beat, John McWhorter celebrates hip-hop for what it is (feel-good, meticulously crafted music), while defining what it is not (useful political advice). It has become an effect of hip-hop for rappers to list in their songs pressing issues in black communities - from welfare to police violence to generalized oppression - but McWhorter argues that pointing to a problem is not the same as solving it. And hip-hop cannot offer meaningful dialogue because, by its very nature, it consists in quick-hitting snips of thought, not treatises on policy planning."--Jacket
The story of human language by John H McWhorter( Visual )

10 editions published between 2004 and 2010 in English and held by 403 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Language is fascinating. It defines humans as a species, placing us head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. Professor McWhorter explores many of the common questions about language, such as: Why isn't there just a single language? Or, How does a language change, and when it does, is that change indicative of decay or growth? In short, everything about a language is eternally and inherently changeable, from its word order and grammar to the very sound and meaning of basic words, while word histories reveal the phenomena of language change and mixture worldwide
Spreading the word : language and dialect in America by John H McWhorter( Book )

4 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 266 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The idea that there is one "best" English is so intuitively plausible and so relentlessly inculcated in us that it is only natural to attempt to uphold this "Standard" among our students. Our error is in thinking that anything that deviates from this Standard is wrong. In Spreading the Word, linguist John McWhorter proves that nonstandard dialects are not bastardizations of Standard English, but alternate variations upon the basic plan of English, of which the Standard is but one. With a general focus on classroom applications, McWhorter makes accessible to teachers, teacher educators, and administrators basic language principles that are commonly accepted by linguists, but rarely disseminated to a general audience. Using data from several different languages, McWhorter shows that the speech differences we hear in America are qualitatively equivalent to those heard in other parts of the world where the same differences are not considered "bad language." He links his thesis not only to "prescriptive grammar," but to more immediate issues facing classroom teachers, such as Black English and code switching between Spanish and English. A complete chapter is dedicated to showing how mixture between languages is a worldwide and natural phenomenon, rather than a language-ravaging "accident." -- from back cover
The story of human language by John H McWhorter( Recording )

10 editions published between 2004 and 2005 in English and held by 260 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Professor McWhorter delivers lectures tracing the origins and history of language
Understanding linguistics the science of language by John H McWhorter( Visual )

10 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 256 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"As an introduction to linguistic science, this course's main goal is to show that speaking is more than a matter of knowing words and putting them in order. Linguists have discovered that language is an intricate hierarchy of systems, ever changing in surface appearance but ever consistent in organizational essence"--Course guidebook
Language interrupted : signs of non-native acquisition in standard language grammars by John H McWhorter( Book )

15 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 228 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Written by one of the leading figures in creole studies, this book addresses in detail five distinct language families, making it of interest to specialists in all of them. Language Interrupted is also a useful unitary statement about language contact, to be consulted partly as a text and partly as a reference book with case studies."--Jacket
Language change and language contact in pidgins and creoles by John Hamilton McWhorter( Book )

20 editions published between 1999 and 2000 in English and Undetermined and held by 203 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This book collects a selection of fifteen papers presented at three meetings of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics in 1996 and 1997. The focus is on papers which approach issues in creole studies with novel perspectives, address understudied pidgin and creole varieties, or compellingly argue for controversial positions. The papers demonstrate how pidgins and creoles shed light on issues such as verb movement, contact-induced language change and its gradations, discourse management via tense-aspect particles, language genesis, substratal transfer, and Universal Grammar, and cover a w
What Black men think( Visual )

2 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 151 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Examination of the role that myths, stereotypes and misrepresentations have played in the decimation of modern era Black relationships, and how the symbiotic relationship between government, media and Black leadership perpetuates misinformation to further marginalize the role of Black men in society."--Container
Linguistic simplicity and complexity : why do languages undress? by John H McWhorter( Book )

18 editions published between 2011 and 2012 in English and Undetermined and held by 134 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Defining Creole anthology of 2005, his collected articles conveyed the following theme: His hypothesis that creole languages are definable not just in the sociohistorical sense, but in the grammatical sense. His publications since the 1990s have argued that all languages of the world that lack a certain three traits together are creoles (i.e. born as pidgins a few hundred years ago and fleshed out into real languages). He also argued that in light of their pidgins birth, such languages are less grammatically complex than others, as the result of their recent birth as pidgins. These two claims have been highly controversial among creolists as well as other linguists. In this volume McWhorter gathers articles he has written since then, in the wake of responses from a wide range of creolists and linguists. These articles represent a considerable divergence in direction from his earlier work
A grammar of Saramaccan Creole by John H McWhorter( Book )

11 editions published in 2012 in 3 languages and held by 59 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Saramaccan has been central to various debates regarding the origin and nature of creole languages. Being the most removed of all English-based creoles from European language structure in terms of phonology, morphology and syntax, it has been seen as one of the most extreme instantiations of the creolization process. This is the first full-length description of Saramaccan. The grammar documents, in particular, a valence-sensitive system of indicating movement and direction via serial verb constructions, hitherto overlooked amidst the generalized phenomenon of serialization itself. John H. McWhorter, Columbia University, New York, USA; Jeff Good, University at Buffalo, New York, USA
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Doing our own thing : the degradation of language and music and why we should, like, care
Alternative Names
Ioannes McWhorter

John McWhorter American linguist and political commentator

John McWhorter Amerikaans taalkundige

Mac Whorter, John H.

Mac Whorter John Hamilton 1955-....

MacWhorter, John

MacWhorter, John 1965-

MacWhorter, John H.

MacWhorter, John H. 1965-

MacWhorter John Hamilton 1955-....

MacWhorter, John Hamilton 1965-

Mc Whorter, John H.

Mc Whorter, John H. 1965-

Mc Whorter John Hamilton 1955-....

McWhorter, John.

McWhorter, John 1965-

McWhorter, John H.

McWhorter, John Hamilton 1965-

Макуортер, Джон

ג'ון מקוורטר

جان مَک وورتِر

존 맥워터(John McWhorter)



English (214)

German (1)

Doing our own thing : the degradation of language and music and why we should, like, careThe power of Babel : a natural history of languageWinning the race : beyond the crisis in Black AmericaAuthentically Black : essays for the Black silent majorityThe word on the street : fact and fable about American EnglishOur magnificent bastard tongue : the untold history of EnglishWhat language is : and what it isn't and what it could beAll about the beat : why hip-hop can't save Black America