Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “language”

Ironic Serif: A Brief History of Typographic Snark and the Failed Crusade for an Irony Mark
Ironic Serif: A Brief History of Typographic Snark and the Failed Crusade for an Irony Mark

From 17th-century France to digital emoticons, by way of kooky characters and spectacular failures.

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The Shape of Spectacular Speech: An Infographic Analysis of What Made MLK’s “I Have a Dream” So Powerful
The Shape of Spectacular Speech: An Infographic Analysis of What Made MLK’s “I Have a Dream” So Powerful

The poetics of presenting, or why beautiful metaphors are better than beautiful slides.

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How We Got “Please” and “Thank You”
How We Got “Please” and “Thank You”

Why the line between politeness and bossiness is a linguistic mirage.

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Gender Politics and the English Language, Pete Seeger Edition
Gender Politics and the English Language, Pete Seeger Edition

“Building a new and livable world will necessitate thousands of little changes.”

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The Speech Chain: A Vintage Illustrated Guide to the Science of Language
The Speech Chain: A Vintage Illustrated Guide to the Science of Language

A mid-century primer on how verbal messages progress from the mind of the speaker to the mind of the listener.

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What Elvish, Klingon, and Dothraki Reveal about Real Language & the Essence of Human Communication
What Elvish, Klingon, and Dothraki Reveal about Real Language & the Essence of Human Communication

Why a good language, like a good life, requires both rules and messiness.

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The Magic of Metaphor: What Children’s Minds Reveal about the Evolution of the Imagination
The Magic of Metaphor: What Children’s Minds Reveal about the Evolution of the Imagination

“Metaphorical thinking … is essential to how we communicate, learn, discover, and invent.”

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Scandal, Censorship, Science: How Darwin Shaped Our Understanding of Why Language Exists
Scandal, Censorship, Science: How Darwin Shaped Our Understanding of Why Language Exists

What The Origin of Species and the love of dogs reveal about comprehension and cognition.

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Stephen King on Writing, Fear, and the Atrocity of Adverbs
Stephen King on Writing, Fear, and the Atrocity of Adverbs

“I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

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The Fine Art of Italian Hand Gestures: A Vintage Visual Dictionary by Bruno Munari
The Fine Art of Italian Hand Gestures: A Vintage Visual Dictionary by Bruno Munari

A pocket guide to Neapolitan nonverbal communication.

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