Thursday, December 10, 2015
The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building by David J. Peterson is a piñata of a book. You have to take a good whack at it. And if you do - if you get through the shell - you will be rewarded with all kinds of delicious tidbits.
The way words evolve. Why do does ‘pneumonia’ start with a ‘p’? The secret origin of my archenemy The Homophone. Peterson answers all kinds of questions I had never thought to ask, but I’m considerably better off for having answered. The book is also funny. I love his running onion gag.
Linguistics is not an easy and there is no trick to make it easy. The way we manipulate words is complicated, inconsistent and sometimes infuriating. Taking a look at language from the perspective of a someone who wants to construct one makes trudging through the complexity more of project than a chore.
Oh, yes. I've doing research for a new book. On language. And this bit of work made my work way easier. I love that even more than onion gags.
Posted by Michael J. Martineck at 8:16 AM