Words that Change the World

Thanks to my son Joaquín for sending this marvelous "Radio Lab" audiofile (WNYC and NPR production) on language and how it works.

Words that Change the World

From the story of a deaf Mayan who only as an adult learned that there were words, through experiments showing how language allows us to connect discrete concepts of space, to Shakespeare's inventions from the throngs of words that clamored for entry into his brain. Listen, if you love and are perplexed by language. Columbia U.'s James Shapiro now has me reading "The Rape of Lucrece" — as a lesson in language and writing, besides all the emotions it directly talks about. He also has made me want to read his next-to-latest book, A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare.

For more stuff on language, click on — what else? — "language" in the labels beneath this post.

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