Book spine poem: Broken words

New books mean a new book spine poem, aka bookmash. This one has a language theme.

[Click to enlarge]


stan carey - book spine poem - broken words spoken here


Broken words

Broken words spoken here:
Swearing, texting,
The unfolding of language,
Native tongue lapsing
Into a comma –
You just don’t understand.


Thanks to the authors: Helen Hodgman, Mark Abley, Geoffrey Hughes, David Crystal, Guy Deutscher, Suzette H. Elgin, Bill Walsh, and Deborah Tannen; and to artist Nina Katchadourian.

Tannen’s book featured in a post here in June on gender differences in listening signals, while long-time readers will have seen another Guy Deutscher work, Through the Language Glass, in my earlier bookmash ‘Forest of Symbols’. Elgin’s feminist ling-sci-fi Native Tongue is the one I read most recently; I haven’t yet got to the first three in the stack.

Older book spine poems are here. Feel free, as always, to join in.


13 Responses to Book spine poem: Broken words

  1. […] reading “Broken Words Spoken Here” as presented over at Sentence First, I had to try my hand at stacking up my own book-spine poem. A book-spine poem being what it […]

  2. Debunker says:

    Great! Some lovely books there as well. I must read The Unfolding of Language again. It’s wonderful!

  3. itsjess says:

    Wait… whaaaaaat? This is genius!

  4. […] [P.S. Hughes’s book appeared in a book spine poem here last year: ‘Broken words spoken here‘.] […]

  5. […] Abley’s book was in a previous bookmash on language, Broken Words; others are The Accidental Grammar, Unlocking the Language, The Name of the World […]

  6. […] of these books and authors have featured before. You can browse the full archive of book spine poems, which also […]

  7. […] Sentence first a few times. Deborah Tannen has also appeared here before, including in an earlier book spine poem about […]

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