Daniel Tammet - Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing - Hodder & Stoughton

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Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing

Encounters with the Mysteries & Meanings of Language

By Daniel Tammet

  • Hardback
  • £18.99

From the bestselling author of Born on a Blue Day and Thinking in Numbers, a delightful and eclectic exploration of language, and what it can teach us about ourselves and our lives.

'Full of charm and fascination' The Bookseller

'Tammet's intriguing cases of linguistic idiosyncrasies expand our notions on what it means to be human . . . Would dazzle any storyteller in love with words and their deepest meanings' Amy Tan, author of Joy Luck Club

'A generous book and a beguiling read' Rebecca Gowers

* * * * * *

From the bestselling author of Born on a Blue Day and Thinking in Numbers, a delightful and eclectic exploration of language, and what it can teach us about ourselves and our lives.

Why is the name 'Cleopatra' not allowed in Iceland? Why do clocks 'talk' to the Nahua people of Mexico? And if we are what we eat, are we also what we say? These are just some of the questions Daniel Tammet answers in Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing, a mesmerising new collection of essays investigating the intricacies and profound power of human language.

Tammet goes back in time to explore the numeric language of his autistic childhood; he looks at the music and patterns that words make, and how languages evolve and are translated. He meets one of the world's most accomplished lip readers in Canada, learns how endangered languages like Manx are being revived and corresponds with native speakers of Esperanto in their mother tongue. He studies the grammar of the telephone, contemplates the significance of disappearing dialects, and also asks: will chatbots ever manage to convince us that they are human?

From the art of translation to the lyricism of sign language, Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing is a fascinating journey through the world of words, letters, stories and meanings, and an extraordinary testament to the stunning range of Tammet's literary and polyglot talents.

Biographical Notes

Daniel Tammet is an essayist, novelist and translator. He is the author of Thinking in Numbers, Embracing the Wide Sky, and the Sunday Times bestseller Born On A Blue Day. Tammet is Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). He lives in Paris.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780340961308
  • Publication date: 24 Aug 2017
  • Page count: 288
  • Imprint: Hodder & Stoughton
'Full of charm and fascination . . . a veritable verbal treasure house.' — Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller
'Like Oliver Sacks' compendium of rare neurological anomalies, Tammet's intriguing cases of linguistic idiosyncrasies expand our notions on what it means to be human . . . Most fascinating is Tammet's own astonishing linguistic mind, in which a single word evokes fully textured experiences - an innate ability that would dazzle any storyteller in love with words and their deepest meanings.' — Amy Tan
Praise for Born on a Blue Day: 'A memoir of outstanding lucidity and charm' — The Sunday Times
[Tammet] shows us that language is a far more ornately feathered fowl than casual consideration can conceive . . . there are many moments of delightful and surprising luminescence — Kirkus Reviews
'Admirably modest but affecting autobiography by a man blessed with incredible mental gifts but struggling with Asperger's' — The Sunday Times - top choice of books 'you really must read'
Praise for Embracing the Wide Sky: 'Entertaining and informative about an impressive range of subjects . . . fun and inspirational' — FT Weekend
'Packed with his clear summaries of fascinating experiments . . . Recent debate has bumped up this book from delightful to vital' — Daily Telegraph
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