Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader. Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.
An extraterrestrial zoologist observing our planet's wildlife a few hundred thousand years ago might well have been puzzled. The strange, soft-skinned, almost hairless primates that had emerged over the previous million years did not initially look like a good evolutionary bet, but they were doing incredibly well.
This book is part of a series called "Why It Matters" in which leading thinkers make a case for the importance of their subjects. I've been interested in linguistics for a while, but I don't really understand what subjects it covers. I'm hoping to understand it much better after reading this little book.