WORD’S WORTH

We love a well-placed semicolon, hate serial commas and remain forever tormented per the acceptability of split infinitives. What can we say? We’re word nerds. Luckily, three new books have our linguistic interests at heart:

If you’ve ever wondered about how the way you speak reflects who you are, you’ve got to read psychologist James Pennebaker’s The Secret Life of Pronouns. This gripping look at “function words” (I, me, it, for, etc.) explores everything from politicians’ use of the word we–not as inclusive as you may think–to Oprah’s Twitter lexicon.

Think you’ve out-groan punning? Not so, says speechwriter John Pollack in The Pun Also Rises, which makes the case for wordplay’s rich history and cognitive importance. From the visual jokes found in Egyptian pyramids to the final rounds of the world pun championship, Pollack shows the science and joy of subversive language.

Finally, as much we like using words, we also like looking at them. Simon Garfield’s new book, Just My Type, is a deft and downright fun study of typeface that asks the question: What does your favorite font say about you? Learn how Trajan became the movie-poster go-to and how Gotham may have helped Obama’s White House bid.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Arts + Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s