Steven Pinker is a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time and The Atlantic, and is the author of ten books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Stuff of Thought, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and most recently, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.
Interviews with Steven Pinker
Our TV screens may be full of news about war and crime, but this masks a fall in historical terms in the number of violent deaths that’s nothing short of astonishing, says Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker. He tells us how and why this happened.
Interviews where books by Steven Pinker were recommended
It’s hard to understand many things about the world around us without a knowledge of the unconscious workings of the brain, argues the New York Times columnist David Brooks. He chooses five accessible books that’ll get you into neuroscience as well.
Does the world look different in other languages? Are there words that cannot be translated? Is it OK to say disinterested when you mean uninterested? Lane Greene, who writes the Economist’s “Johnson” column on language, dispels some of the popular but misguided ideas many of us have about language.
Swearing: A Social History of Foul Language, Oaths and Profanity in English
by Geoffrey Hughes
What the F: What Swearing Reveals about Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves
by Benjamin K Bergen
by Jesse Sheidlower
Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word
by Randall Kennedy
The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature
by Steven Pinker
Linguistically, swear words are unique—they can shock and offend, are processed differently in the brain, and saying them may allow you to withstand pain for longer. But where do they get their distinctive power? And how has this changed over time? Melissa Mohr gives us a badmouthed tour of the best fucking books on swearing . . .
Modern society depends on trust more than we realise, and the basis for that trust is security. The trick, says the security guru, is preserving the forces that allow us to trust one another, while also knowing who not to trust.
Most grammar books say ‘do this, and that’s that.’ But who says? How do they know? Real rules are grounded in the facts of actual standard usage. Here are five grammar books that show their work, telling you not only what to do but why, and how they know. Accept nothing less.