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SPEECH! How Language Made Us Human – Simon Prentis

What makes us human? Why are we the only animals who wear clothes, drive cars, trawl the internet, and fly helicopters on Mars? It’s all because we’ve learnt to talk: yet remarkably, we still don’t know how we did it. SPEECH! suggests an answer that’s been hiding in plain sight – the simple yet radical shift that turned our analog grunts and shrieks into words. But its consequences are far from simple: being able to share ideas through language was an evolutionary tipping point – it allowed us to link up our minds. And the rest is… history.

I couldn’t stop reading until I finished it. This book should be widely read!” James Lovelock

Crisp and clear – I agree with your hypothesis.” Desmond Morris

“I look forward to reading it.” Sir David Attenborough

Bravo! A compelling read.” Yoko Ono

If you liked Sapiens, you’re going to love this.” – Jee Mandayo

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27 Points

Written by memesovergenes

Simon Prentis was born in England in 1953. Initially accepted to study Chemistry at Oxford University, he graduated in 1978 with an MA in English Language and Literature before travelling to Japan to study Aikido. There he taught English and began studying Japanese while training for his black belt - gaining an RSA Diploma in TEFL along the way, and completing a course at Simul Academy, Japan's premier interpreting school. After returning to the UK in 1986 he was recruited to present a Japanese-language satellite news service for NHK, Japan's national broadcaster - but left after two years in front of the camera to set up his own bilingual production company, Simon Prentis Associates. Over the next 25 years he travelled the world working on more than 250 programmes for Japanese television, while continuing to work as a freelance translator and interpreter for a select clientele - about which you can discover more on his website: www.simonprentis.net

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    1. Have you thought how strange it is that we don’t know why humans can talk and other animals can’t? That we rely on language for everything we do yet can’t explain it? But maybe there’s a clue we’ve been missing all along: maybe the deepest secret is that words are digital — for that would make all the difference. My book explores the journey we’ve taken with language — from the first fumbling steps through the inevitable emergence and divergence of cultures, religions and identities, the development of science, and the ultimate logic of language: world peace. Read it and tell me I’m w

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