Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic

Overview

Can a bump on the head cause someone to speak with a different accent? Can animals, aliens, and objects talk? Can we communicate with gods, demons, and the dead? From ancient curses carved on tablets to modern-day affirmations, supernatural language is used in an attempt to predict the future, diagnose and cure disease, attract good luck, repel bad luck, and to charm and curse. Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic explores a wide range of weird language-related phenomena, including blasphemy, Bigfoot language, ...

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Overview

Can a bump on the head cause someone to speak with a different accent? Can animals, aliens, and objects talk? Can we communicate with gods, demons, and the dead? From ancient curses carved on tablets to modern-day affirmations, supernatural language is used in an attempt to predict the future, diagnose and cure disease, attract good luck, repel bad luck, and to charm and curse. Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic explores a wide range of weird language-related phenomena, including blasphemy, Bigfoot language, hypnosis, handwriting analysis, chain letters, spells, spirit writing, and hidden satanic messages.

We take a look at some bizarre real-life cases, including the story of a modern English woman who suddenly began speaking in an ancient Egyptian dialect. We hear about a song that is so depressing it is said to drive people to commit suicide, and the belief that if you fall asleep on a book you can absorb its contents without having to read it. This book is a curio shop full of colourful superstitions, folklore, and legends about language.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Language, with its uncanny ability to transmit ideas from mind to mind, has always seemed to have magical powers. Karen Stollznow ably and engagingly debunks the nonsense and superstitions, and in doing so enhances, rather than diminishes, our appreciation of this wondrous human ability.' - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, US, and author of The Language Instinct and The Sense of Style

'Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic could not be more timely. Here the accomplished linguist, Karen Stollznow, persuasively and forcefully dramatizes how language has many real world powers that might seem mysterious, as when a brain injury causes someone to switch from one language to another. But readers will soon grasp that while language does have power, it isn't particularly magical or mysterious. This engaging, one-of a kind, book deserves very wide readership.' - Elizabeth Loftus, University of California, US
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137404848
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 7/26/2014
  • Pages: 256

Meet the Author

Karen Stollznow is a linguist with a background in history and anthropology. She is a columnist, podcaster, and the author of God Bless America and Haunting America. Karen was a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and has spent many years teaching and writing about a diverse array of topics, including language, culture, religion, and unusual beliefs and practices. Karen was born in Sydney, and has a PhD in linguistics from the University of New England, Australia. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado.

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Table of Contents

PART I: MAGICAL LANGUAGE 
1. Curses, Charms and Taboos
2. Divination
3. Prediction
4. Prayer
5. Chain Letters
PART II: POSSESSED LANGUAGE
6. Foreign Accent Syndrome
7. Xenoglossia
8. Speaking in Tongues
9. Psychic Mediums and Channelers
10. Automatic Writing
PART III: HIDDEN LANGUAGE
11. Voices of the Dead
12. Backmasking
13. Reverse Speech
14. The Bible Code
15. Secret Symbols
PART IV; INHUMAN LANGUAGE
16. Talking Animals
17. Pet Psychics and Psychic Pets
18. Monster Language
19. Alien Language
20. Talking Objects
PART V: THERAPUTIC LANGUAGE
21. Graphology
22. Speech and Sound Therapies
23. Neuro-Linguistic Programming
24. Hypnosis
25 Body Language

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