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Summary

A mind-expanding, deeply humane tour of language(s) - and those who speak, study and invent them - by the best-selling author of Born on a Blue Day and Thinking in Numbers.

Is vocabulary destiny? Why do clocks 'talk' to the Nahua people of Mexico? Will AI researchers ever produce true human-machine dialogue? In this mesmerizing collection of essays, Daniel Tammet answers these and many other questions about the intricacy and profound power of language.

In Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing, Tammet goes back in time to explore the numeric language of his autistic childhood; in Iceland he learns why the name Blær became a court case; in Canada he meets one of the world's most accomplished lip readers. He chats with chatbots, contrives an 'e'-less essay on lipograms, studies the grammar of the telephone, contemplates the significance of disappearing dialects and corresponds with native Esperanto speakers - in their mother tongue.

A joyous romp through the world of words, letters, stories and meanings, Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing explores the way communication shapes reality. From the art of translation to the lyricism of sign language, these essays display the stunning range of Tammet's literary and polyglot talents.

©2017 Daniel Tammet (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton

Critic reviews

"Full of charm and fascination...a veritable verbal treasure house." (The Bookseller)

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I had to read it twice.

Really love this book. I can recommend it. Tammet is a naturally clear and precise reader that suits me well.