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Don't believe a word : the surprising truth about language  Cover Image Book Book

Don't believe a word : the surprising truth about language / David Shariatmadari.


"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.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781324004257
  • ISBN: 1324004258
  • Physical Description: 324 pages ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First American edition.
  • Publisher: New York, N.Y. : W. W. Norton & Company, 2020.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 296-314) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
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.
Subject: Language and languages.
Language and languages > Origin.
Historical linguistics.
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General.
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Grammar & Punctuation.
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Translating & Interpreting.
Language and languages > Origin.
Historical linguistics.
Language and languages.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Homer Public Library 401 SHA (Text) 000157243 Nonfiction Available -

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