Review Don’t believe a word: The surprising truth about language (a review)

original work by DAVID SHARIATMADARI reviewed by BARRY TOMALIN

‘Don’t believe a word’ is usually a phrase meaning you shouldn’t believe something you hear or read. David Shariatmadari, an editor and columnist on the Guardian, a British daily newspaper, uses ‘word’ in its literal sense to mean vocabulary and extends it to other aspects of language analysis including grammar, punctuation and pronunciation. The result is a ‘myth busting’ exercise, puncturing common misconceptions about language and its use, using linguistic theory explained in a way non-linguists can understand.

More articles in this issue: