The Cosmopolitan Tongue: The Universality of English
...Bookstore shelves groan under the weight of countless foreign-language self-teaching sets that are about as useful as the tonics and elixirs that passed as medicine a century ago and leave their students with anemic vocabularies and paltry grammar that are of little use in real conversation…According to one estimate, a hundred years from now the 6,000 languages in use today will likely dwindle to 600. The question, though, is whether this is a problem....
American linguist and cultural commentator. Born in Philadelphia, McWhorter was educated at Simon's Rock College, Rutgers University, New York University, and Stanford University, where he earned his Ph.D. in linguistics in 1993. He was a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and has taught at Columbia University since 2008. A frequent guest commentator on radio and television, McWhorter is sought out for his perspectives on matters of race relations and language. He is the author of thirteen books, including Word on the Street: Debunking the Myth of "Pure" Standard English (1998), The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language (2001), Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America (2005), and Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English (2008). See also manhattan-institute.org/html/mcwhorter.htm.