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.

BARRY TOMALIN. Joint Managing Editor of Training, Language and Culture and a board member of ICC. Regular reviewer for TLC and a specialist in international communication, cultures, soft power and media. Founder and facilitator of the ICC-recognised Business Cultural Trainers Certificate. Teaches at Glasgow Caledonian University London, the Academy of Diplomacy and International Governance at Loughborough University, and International House London. Author and co-author of a number of books on international business culture, including World Business Cultures – A Handbook and Cross-Cultural Communication: Theory and Practice.

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