Biographical Analysis of John Mcwhorter

1731 Words Apr 4th, 2013 7 Pages
Han Bin Kim
Comp II, Class B
Assignment 2, Draft 1
February 23, 2013
John McWhorter Interview

Over the years I have interviewed a good number of people, but there has never been anyone quite like John McWhorter. Upon reading the article “The Cosmopolitan Tongue: The Universality of English” as published in the 2009 Fall edition of World Affairs, I found myself delighted by the mellow but powerful tone and the writer who could use it with such ease. Here was a man with brains, consideration, and humor. Lost in my reveries about what McWhorter would be like, I didn’t quite realize that I had somehow dialed his office number until a deep voice filtered through the receiver. “Yes? McWhorter speaking.” With a tingling sense of nervousness I
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These little considerate actions which I had noticed during the phone call and the three minutes I had met him, inspired me to ask if he had always been so considerate. He looked surprised. “I have never thought myself considerate,” he said slowly, “I am often told that I am too frank with my words. Before I make my opinion on something, I look at it from all perspectives to check that it is perfectly reasonable and logical. But once I make it, I say it without stopping to think if people who think otherwise will be hurt by my words.” I protested. I had already known that he was a considerate person just by reading his article; namely, the welcoming way with which he drew his readers in: “Most Americans pronounce disgusting as “diss-kusting” with a k sound. (Try it—you probably do too.)” (McWhorter, 248) The tall man leaned back in the armchair and laughed. “My dear friend, every writer is obligated to welcome his readers. Readers are the laziest species that ever drew breath, and if they don’t feel welcomed, they won’t read. As for being patient in littler things—well, I don’t know if this is very relevant or not, but I read five versions of the Talmud, each one progressively harder, when I was in middle school. I’m pretty sure junior high was when my interest in Hebrew peaked. The Talmud was a pretty good source of linguistic and cultural knowledge, and some of the moral standards made pretty logical sense, so I adopted them as my own.” It was relevant. Being
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