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Today's quote:

Thursday, February 18, 2021

We're talking about language


Words are all we have. Certainly, reader, words are all we have, you and I, as you sit with this book or reading device in front of you and I sit and tap at my keyboard. You have no idea where I am as I do this, and I have no idea who, where or what you are as you continue to read. We are connected by a filament of language that stretches from somewhere inside my brain to somewhere inside yours. There are so many cognitive and cerebral processes involved simply in the act of my writing and your reading these words that not all the massed ranks of biology, genetics, linguistics, neurology, computational science or philosophy can properly describe, let alone understand or explain, how it all works."

Thus writes Stephen Fry in his Foreword to "Planet Word - The story of language from the earliest grunts to Twitter and beyond". These "456 pages of reading pleasure", as I described them here, arrived by parcel post today. As it turned out, there were only 444 pages in the book but each one is packed with so much erudition that I'm perfectly happy to forgive the publishers this small piece of misleading advertising.


You may wish to read the book online here
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Stephen Fry wrote, "We may be what we eat, but we most certainly are what we say", to which I would add, "and we most certainly are what we read". I will be 444 pages wiser at the end of this wonderful book.

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