Lately it seems to me as though everyone
is trying to find some way to cash in on the
noteable success of a class of textbooks
geared toward a naive—one may even say
unsophisticated—audience. One case
in point is Matthews’ Linguistics: a very
short introduction. While I am sure that
that is a fine textbook, do not expect every
instance of this kind of title to be one you
can expect even the most basic level of
scholarship or general quality from.
I find Linguistics: an extraordinarily
short introduction by Whettam lacking.
Typically, one may quote a text—a time-
honored tradition of fair use made, legally,
extremely unsafe by this book’s brevity.
Suffice it to say that this book is for
consumption only by libraries with overly,
illogically, liberal policies that go and buy
every textbook that comes out (one hears
nasty rumors of such purchases made in
triplicate—such a development would
indicate that our universities have fallen
further from a state of grace than I ever
imagined), never to be studied, perused,
consulted, or even opened by anyone.
Sad as the current sorry state of the world of|
textbooks may be, it is nonetheless my
undying hope that—and very much to the
detriment of Whettam and Droxfo—all of
you will do your part to help.
Oppose any effort to order this book. Hit the
fatuous publishers of slop where it hurts most.
Help bring home the message that the era of
uncritical purchases of textbook dross by
myopic university library policies is finally
at an end. Vote with your purchase orders:
nothing makes publishers listen like red ink.
Let me reiterate, as a vent for my substantial
anger, that this book serves no real purpose,
not academic, not linguistic. It has nothing
going for it. It is so brief as to be completely
useless, and will never be valuable. Finally,
although quoting the dreck under review is
grimly infeasible, clever readers will find the
evilly brief content of this text hinted at herein.
.......... reviewed by A. Crostic
Linguistics : a very short introduction.
P.H. Matthews. Oxford University Press, 2003.