When it rains, it pours.

And here I was thinking there was nothing new to post about! Instead, I have realize that I’ve neglected my duties as “she-who-must-free-the-egg”. So, after finally reawakening to my mission, I checked my woefully neglected FreeTheEgg email.

There was a message from the author of this book and, I won’t lie, at first I thought it was spam. Thankfully, and gratefully, it was not! This is a legitimate book that I am in the middle of reading. Not just reading, but thoroughly enjoying.

The Babel Message: A Love Letter to Language by Keith Kahn-Harris

If you love language. If you love Kinder Eggs. If you love good books, this is for you!

“Keith Kahn-Harris is a man obsessed with something seemingly trivial – the warning message found inside Kinder Surprise eggs:

WARNING, read and keep: Toy not suitable for children under 3 years. Small parts might be swallowed or inhaled.

On a tiny sheet of paper, this message is translated into dozens of languages – the world boiled down to a multilingual essence. Inspired by this, the author asks: what makes ‘a language’? With the help of the international community of language geeks, he shows us what the message looks like in Ancient Sumerian, Zulu, Cornish, Klingon – and many more. Along the way he considers why Hungarian writing looks angry, how to make up your own language, and the meaning of the heavy metal umlaut.

Overturning the Babel myth, he argues that the messy diversity of language shouldn’t be a source of conflict, but of collective wonder. This is a book about hope, a love letter to language.

‘This is a wonderful book. A treasure trove of mind-expanding insights into language and humanity encased in a deliciously quirky, quixotic quest. I loved it. Warning: this will keep you reading.’ – Ann Morgan, author of Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer”

The Babel Message: A Love Letter to Language

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