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Publisher's Summary

A mind-expanding, deeply humane tour of language 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 London 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 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"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. He gives insight ranging from cultural perception and social dominance, to the features of Esperanto as a universal language. 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)

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