Don't believe a word : the surprising truth about language / David Shariatmadari.
- Other Title:
- Do not believe a word
- First American edition.
- New York, N.Y. : W. W. Norton & Company, 2020.
324 pages ; 24 cm
- Language and languages.
Language and languages -- Origin.
- "Everyone likes to think they know a bit about language: There are some words that you simply can't translate into English. The origin of a word tells you how it should be used. A dialect is inferior to a language. The problem is, none of these statements are true. In Don't Believe a Word, linguist David Shariatmadari explodes nine common myths about language and introduces us to some of the fundamental insights of modern linguistics. By the end of this eye- opening tour, readers will understand that grammatical "errors" are in fact the foundation of modern English; that the meaning of a word is not what a dictionary says, but how it's used; and that the difference between what gets labelled a "language" or "dialect" is political, rather than scientific. Don't Believe a Word offers an accessible and thorough introduction to the science behind one of the most essential aspects of our daily life"-- Provided by publisher.
- Language is going to the dogs
A word's origin is its true meaning
I control what comes out of my mouth
We can't talk to the animals
You can't translate this word
Italian is a language
What you say is what you mean
Some languages are better than others
Language is an instinct.
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 296-314) and index.
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