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Don't Believe a Word

Nonfiction: Language
Unabridged   9 hour(s)
Publication date: 01/07/2020

Don't Believe a Word

The Surprising Truth About Language

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684576937
Digital Download ISBN:9781684576920


An entertaining and highly informed guide to what languages are and how they function.

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Product Description

An entertaining and highly informed guide to what languages are and how they function.

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, listeners 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 labeled 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.


“Wonderful. David Shariatmadari wears his deep learning with such an admirable and alluring lightness of touch. You finish Don’t Believe a Word more alive than ever to the enduring mystery and miracle of that thing that makes us most human, the gift of language.” —Stephen Fry

Author Bio

David Shariatmadari studied linguistics at the University of Cambridge and the University of London. He is an editor at the Guardian and writes on language, politics, and culture. He lives in London.