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Don't Believe A Word

The Surprising Truth About Language

David Shariatmadari

(author)

Hardback
A mind-boggling journey through the phenomenon of language, busting nine common myths about humanity's greatest achievement'Wonderful' Stephen Fry
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SKU
9781474608435
Price £14.78 RRP £16.99

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"a tribute to our better natures"

The Guardian

Outbreaks and Epidemics
Don't Believe A Word: The Surprising Truth About Language A01 By (author) N David Shariatmadari 220 142 36 440 BB Hardback 336 Weidenfeld & Nicolson Orion Publishing Co London United Kingdom CBX Language: history & general works CFK Grammar, syntax & morphology CBG Usage & grammar guides 1.3 CBX CFK CBG Language: history & general works Grammar, syntax & morphology Usage & grammar guides A mind-boggling journey through the phenomenon of language, busting nine common myths about humanity's greatest achievement 'Wonderful' Stephen Fry 'Wonderful. David Shariatmadari wears his deep learning with such an admirable and alluring lightness of touch . . . You finish the book more alive than ever to the enduring mystery and miracle of that thing that makes us most human' STEPHEN FRY Everyone likes to think they know a bit about language:There's a term in Portuguese you simply can't translate The origin of a word tells you how it should be used Standards of grammar have taken a nosedive recently The real meaning of 'disinterested' is 'unbiased' Computers will soon be able to speak like human beings A dialect is inferior to a language The problem is, none of these statements is true. Over the past few decades, we have reached new frontiers of linguistic knowledge. Linguists can now explain how and why language changes, describe its structures, and map its activity in the brain. But most of us know as much about language today as we did about physics before Galileo, and the little we know is still largely based on folklore, instinct or hearsay. In DON'T BELIEVE A WORD linguist David Shariatmadari takes us on a mind-boggling journey through the science of language, urging us to abandon our prejudices in a bid to uncover the (far more interesting) truth about what we do with words. Exploding nine widely-held myths about language while introducing us to some of the fundamental insights of modern linguistics, David Shariatmadari is an energetic guide to the beauty and quirkiness of humanity's greatest achievement. Come for the myth-busting, stay for the lighthearted introduction to linguistics. David Shariatmadari ably demonstrates that there are plenty of fascinating things to learn about language without indulging in sensationalist headlines. Recommended for both language fans and anyone who enjoys learning about the hidden patterns in everyday life -- GRETCHEN MCCULLOCH, author of BECAUSE INTERNET An illuminating and thought-provoking journey through language -- DEAN BURNETT Most popular books on language dumb down; Shariatmadari's smartens things up, and is all the more entertaining for it * THE SUNDAY TIMES, Books of the Year * Fascinating and thought-provoking . . . crammed with weird and wonderful facts. Don't Believe a Word is a serious piece of research, cogently and carefully presented . . . for anyone who delights in linguistics it's a richly rewarding read * MAIL ON SUNDAY * This lucid examination of linguistics entertains as much as it informs . . . above all, this is a generous and enthralling study of the basis of how we communicate -- Alexander Larman * OBSERVER * A skilful summation of the latest research on how languages emerge, change, convey meaning and influence how we think . . . a meaty, rewarding and necessary read * GUARDIAN * Completely fascinating and eye-opening. David Shariatmadari is warm, wise and wonderfully steeped in his subject - the perfect guide to the brilliantly strange world of language -- MARINA HYDE David Shariatmadari translates the often arcane theories of linguistics into a sequence of accessible ideas and theories, making us look afresh at the language we speak and how it structures our intimacies, our thoughts, and our identities. Wry and immensely intelligent, this learned book awakens us to complexities of communication that we too readily ignore, and it does so with both deep scholarship and a light touch -- ANDREW SOLOMON Wonderful. David Shariatmadari wears his deep learning with such an admirable and alluring lightness of touch. He brilliantly swats away the pesky 'language guardian' flies, whose misbegotten pedantries and ignorant persnicketiness are the real threats to living language. You finish the book more alive than ever to the enduring mystery and miracle of that thing that makes us most human, the gift of language that was bestowed upon us so astonishingly recently in evolutionary time and that has made us everything that we are . . . for good or ill -- STEPHEN FRY David Shariatmadari is a writer and editor at the Guardian. He studied Linguistics at Cambridge University and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, where he now lives. 22082019 02 RRP including tax GB GBP 16.99 0.00 16.99 This price includes a tax element GB 20 Available 14 BERT GARD Y

'Wonderful. David Shariatmadari wears his deep learning with such an admirable and alluring lightness of touch . . . You finish the book more alive than ever to the enduring mystery and miracle of that thing that makes us most human' STEPHEN FRY

Everyone likes to think they know a bit about language:

There's a term in Portuguese you simply can't translate
The origin of a word tells you how it should be used
Standards of grammar have taken a nosedive recently
The real meaning of 'disinterested' is 'unbiased'
Computers will soon be able to speak like human beings
A dialect is inferior to a language

The problem is, none of these statements is true.

Over the past few decades, we have reached new frontiers of linguistic knowledge. Linguists can now explain how and why language changes, describe its structures, and map its activity in the brain. But most of us know as much about language today as we did about physics before Galileo, and the little we know is still largely based on folklore, instinct or hearsay.

In DON'T BELIEVE A WORD linguist David Shariatmadari takes us on a mind-boggling journey through the science of language, urging us to abandon our prejudices in a bid to uncover the (far more interesting) truth about what we do with words. Exploding nine widely-held myths about language while introducing us to some of the fundamental insights of modern linguistics, David Shariatmadari is an energetic guide to the beauty and quirkiness of humanity's greatest achievement.

More Information
Book publisherOrion Publishing Co
Publication date22 Aug 2019
FormatHardback
Pages336
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