Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing: Encounters with Language
Daniel Tammet

Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing: Encounters with Language

Author of the global bestseller Born On A Blue Day, and the international bestsellers Embracing the Wide Sky and Thinking in Numbers, language savant and polyglot Daniel Tammet is the perfect guide for this engaging, eclectic, occasionally personal exploration of all things linguistic, and what they can teach us about our lives and minds.

In this second collection of essays, Tammet discusses a fascinating range of topics – from Esperanto native speakers and Queen Elizabeth’s French, to spatial semantics and aspirational vowels, with synaesthetic colour, wit, and reflection. His tone is intimate, never professorial, confiding insights and experiences to readers without jargon or condescension.

Admirers of Thinking in Numbers will be delighted by the poetic sensibility and careful precision with which Tammet returns to the essayistic format. His meditations on identity, perception, and creativity will offer readers plenty more food for thought.

Tammet tells the many stories of how words shape our worlds, quickening language’s major debates and puzzles – Is vocabulary destiny? How does our mother tongue affect our perceptions ? - with sharp observations and intriguing anecdotes.

Other essays showcase Tammet’s gentle wit, such as when he dissects the ‘clockwork tongues’ of his fellow language inventors, from Leibniz to Anthony Burgess ; and his ability to explain precisely and lucidly his passion and gift for acquiring foreign languages.  

Combining a vast and free-ranging curiosity with a rare and much-celebrated linguistic creativity, Tammet’s essays speak directly and evocatively to our imagination, endowing fact with all of the poetry and possibility of fiction.

Book Details:

  • Author: Daniel Tammet
  • On Submission
  • Rights Sold
    • US: Little Brown
    • UK: Hodder
    • France: Les Arenes
    • China: Ginkgo

Daniel Tammet

Daniel Tammet is a writer, linguist and educator. A 2007 poll of 4,000 Britons named him as one of the world's "100 living geniuses". He is the creator of 'Optimnem', a website company that has provided language learning instruction to thousands around the globe. His 2006 memoir 'Born On A Blue Day' describing his life with high-functioning autistic savant syndrome was a Sunday Times (UK) and New York Times bestseller. It has sold over half a million copies worldwide, and been translated into 18 languages.Tammet is the subject of the 2005 award-winning documentary film 'Brainman' which has ...
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Book Reviews

  • "[An] insightful collection of 15 essays that explore language and its underappreciated nuances… Tammet is generous in his acceptance of many different forms and styles of communication. His essays will be eye-openers for anyone who takes the meaning of words on the printed page for granted."
    Publishers Weekly
  • "Tammet many moments of delightful and surprising luminescence ."
    Kirkus
  • "Writer and linguist Tammet (Thinking in Numbers; Embracing the Wide Sky) takes us on a series of thought-provoking journeys as he probes the depth and intricacies of how language profoundly affects behavior at every social and political level. Through these memoirlike essays, Tammet demonstrates his eclectic approach to an exploration of the richness of language and its profound effect on his own life and those about whom he writes… Those interested in language, words, meaning, and sociolinguistics will find this slim volume to be a transforming read. General readers will also find this highly readable work engaging ."
    Library Journal
  • "A generous book and a beguiling read.   I trust that it will inspire much praise!"
    Tammet- Rebecca Gowers, author of Plain Words and Horrible Words,
  • "A fascinating journey through language and some of its many varied forms and uses. "
    Booklist
  • "His new book, along with “Thinking in Numbers” (2012), “Embracing the Wide Sky” (2009), and the memoiristic best seller “Born on a Blue Day” (2006), compose a mosaic of glimpses into an imaginatively modified and utterly magical alternative universe…. While I share some core traits with Mr. Tammet (race, gender, general religious background), his books have often taken me further from my own upbringing and present existence than others originating from what might look like far remoter places. While we marvel at him, he marvels at us—all of us, the “mystery of what it is to be human.” He poses questions to think about, and think again"
    Wall Street Journal
  • "Profound ... mind-expanding ... with Tammet's deft touch and sense of wonderment."
    Australian Courier Mail