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Answering questions about the nuts and bolts of language, this is a survey of nearly everything from how sounds become speech to how names work. Along the way we find out about eyebrow flashes, whistling languages, how parents teach their children to speak, and how politeness travels across languages.
David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has published over 90 books, most recently The Stories of English, and is the editor of The Penguin Encyclopaedia. In 1995, he was awarded the OBE for services to the English language. He lives in Holyhead, Anglesey.