The Stuff of Thought, By Steven Pinker

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The Independent Culture

The difference between linguists and nonlinguists is as cavernous and as tricky to define as the difference between the verbs “pour” and “fill” that means you can “pour water into the glass” but not “pour the glass with water”.

Born linguists among Pinker’s readers will be sighing with understanding, while those without the linguistics gene will be baffled.

Perhaps for this reason, to this academic and at times dry analysis of “language as a window into human nature” the author has added a fun chapter on swearing. Bugger me, it’s fascinating stuff.