The world’s many endangered languages should not be preserved simply because of the simple, and shaky, notion that they preserve cultural world views. They should instead be preserved for their aesthetic and cognitive value.
John H. McWhorter
Linguist and political commentator John H. McWhorter is Associate Professor in the English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is author of 16 books, including The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language (Harper Perennial, 2003) and Our Magnificent Tongue: The Untold History of English (Gotham, 2009). His latest book is The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language (Oxford University Press, 2014).
Posts by John H. McWhorter
Season’s readings, and a 2020 round-up, for a year that could never end too soon.