Honey’s book, published in 1997, is a controversial publication, to put it mildly.
We are looking for reviews of the book in addition to the ones by Peter Trudgill, Roy Harris and Paul Bennett. A rejoinder to Trudgill’s review appeared in the Journal of Sociolinguistics.
Here is a list of the reviews we have found out about so far:
- Peter Trudgill: Journal of Sociolinguistics 2,3, pp. 457-461, 1998 (Blackwells) (online)
- Roy Harris: Times Higher Education Supplement, 5 September 1997 (online)
- Paul Bennett: ‘Offpress’, the newsletter of the Society of Editors (Queensland), 2000 (online)
Kate Wild in her comment to this post mentions a reaction by John Honey to the critical reception of his book in English Today (see reference below), as well as a review by Jean Aitchison in the Sunday Times on 14 September 1997. Honey himself refers to a review in the Economist, presumably from around the same time. Details are very welcome.
- John Honey (1998), “The Straw Hippopotamus”. English Today 55, Vol. 14/3, 41-44.
If you know of more reviews, please tell us about them.
Meanwhile (13 April 2017), I’ve just found another review:
- James P. Lantolf, review article ‘Exchanging standards’, English in Education 32/3, 1998. Honey wrote a response to the review (English in Education 1999, 33/2, 52-55).
We would also like to know whether Honey’s book is still read today. One post from September 2009 on a blog called i love english language suggests that it is. And we have recently learnt that it was used as a coursebook at the University of Edinburgh. Comments very welcome.
David Crystal reviewed John Honey’s pamphlet The Language Trap (1983) in the BAAL Newsletter 18; the review was reprinted in English in Education (NATE), Spring 1984, 18(1), 54-65, and it is also available online.
John Honey (1997), Language is Power. The Story of Standard English and its Enemies. London/Boston: Faber and Faber.
Honey, John. 2000. A response to Peter Trudgill’s review of Language is Power. Journal of Sociolinguistics 4/2. 316-19.