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Don't Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth…
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Don't Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth About Language (vuoden 2020 painos)

– tekijä: David Shariatmadari (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
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"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"--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Bibliarchus
Teoksen nimi:Don't Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth About Language
Kirjailijat:David Shariatmadari (Tekijä)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2020), Edition: 1, 336 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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Don't Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth About Language (tekijä: David Shariatmadari)

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näyttää 3/3
Shariatmadari, David. Don’t Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth about Language. Norton, 2020.
Guardian editor David Shariatmadari says that as his interest in language was sparked in childhood by listening to his Iranian farther speaking on the phone in Farsi to relatives in Tehran. He did not understand what was being said, but he could detect some of the language’s repeated phrases. That interest led him to study linguistics, the scientific study of language on its most general level. In Don’t Believe a Word he offers a refreshingly almost jargon-free introduction to the field. He debunks a number of commonly held beliefs about language, such as that some languages are innately superior to others, that the “true” meaning of a word is found in its etymology, and that there is a clear distinction between dialect and language. Along the way, he offers some interesting perspectives on why it is so difficult to program computers to pass the Turing test and, a bit more arcanely, on the evolution of Noam Chomsky’s ideas about language development and what features of human language are difficult for animals. I do wish he paid just a little attention to philology, the general study of written language. Don’t Believe a Word is as gentle an introduction to linguistics as you will ever find. ( )
  Tom-e | Oct 18, 2020 |
Usually I love books about language, but this one fell a little flat. It includes lots of interesting material. The "mythbusting" approach gets a bit tiresome, however. ( )
  annbury | May 23, 2020 |
*E-ARC received from Edelweiss Plus with the understanding that I would post an honest review. No money or other goods were exchanged, and all views are my own.*

We hear a lot about languages:
"Kids these days don't know how to talk anymore, the language is going downhill!"
"German is such an ugly, guttural language."
"These words are untranslatable."

You may even think some of it is true. Even I, a proclaimed word nerd, have been taken in (though I will argue 'til I'm blue in the face that language just changes, doesn't deteriorate) by lists of "untranslatable" foreign words and the like. In Don't Believe a Word, linguist David Shariatmadari dismantles the myths we've all heard - maybe even believed - and shows us ways in which language is much more complicated than we think. Using accessible language to explain complicated ideas, he covers a lot of ground that will be useful for any language lover whether they've had any previous experience with linguistics or not. ( )
  bell7 | Apr 22, 2020 |
näyttää 3/3
This is quite a scholarly and serious book. I admired its refusal to lighten its denser arguments with that jokey "here comes the science bit" flippancy that so often grates in non-fiction books on complex topics. Shariatmadari's style is never less than clear, but there isn't too much handholding. His account requires a little patience, but then so does linguistics.

Stick with it and it is a meaty, rewarding and even necessary read. Shariatmadari begins by pointing to "an almost insatiable appetite for linguistic debate" in our culture. But as he then shows, most of the focus is trivial – "how to speak like a millennial" – or myth-ridden. Our wider culture seems profoundly uninterested in the dynamic, makeshift nature of language, the way that it gives birth to thought as much as articulates it.

Politicians, caught out saying something that they actually believe, instantly apologise for their "poor choice of words". It is as if words were just a light dusting of salt on the meal of meaning, and not that important. But words, as Shariatmadari reveals, aren't a condiment you sprinkle on top of reality; they are the marinade that alters the taste of everything.
lisäsi Cynfelyn | muokkaaThe Guardian, Joe Moran (Aug 10, 2019)
 
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"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"--

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