How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.
An introduction to the study of language and communication that explores the impact of language on our lives. Starting from the evolution of language, it goes on to consider the social and communicative functions of language, its structure and psychology, as well as the impact of electronic media on contemporary usage.