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Don't Believe A Word by David Shariatmadari - Review

Monday, October 23, 2023

I came across this book when I was searching for something else on my local library system (I'm not even sure what, now) and it intrigued me, so I requested it and picked it up when it came in. I ended up taking it on holiday and finished it while I was on the plane to Mallorca, haha. 

So something you might not know about me is that I did English Language A level way back in 2002, and a big part of that was about child language acquisition and how that happens. I found it fascinating. I find language in general fascinating - as I said, I was in Mallorca and I don't speak any Spanish but liked looking at the signs to see what parts of words I did know (thank you French and Latin) and also looking at the differences between the Spanish and the Catalan. So this was a perfect book for me, and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in language and how it works, too. I also think it is written in a really accessible way and even if you haven't ever studied anything about this, you would still understand it all. 

Each chapter looks at a different myth about language and deconstructs it. I really liked how I didn't feel like the author was judging anyone, whatever their linguistic traits or otherwise. If there's one thing I felt was missing, it was that there wasn't a lot on dialect words which are a particular interest of mine being that I'm from Yorkshire. But in all I'm giving this four out of five and would recommend it!

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