Ordinary Human Language

by Brian Crane

Hamlet’s Blackberry

-Book Cover

I read this looking for a book to teach with The Shallows. It’s plodding at bits because it’s driving home an obvious point. But that point is important and the book discusses it clearly, being both well-structured and directly written. “Plodding” in this sense is an asset for a research writing course. And I think the students might connect with it. They’ll certainly be able to fill in the necessary context.

(An additional, less positive cause of plodding: the book isn’t self-help, but it isn’t not self-help either…with all that awkward double-negative implies. It is a book aiming for practical application. Deep analysis is beyond its scope. It explores philosophical arguments, but it does so with its feet squarely on the ground. No soaring into the ether and there’s plenty of vulgarization. I’ve got nothing against vulgarization, but I’ve read Phaedrus closely enough to yearn for the real thing. That’s about me, not the book.)

Posted October 25, 2011