Book Review of the Week: The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker is a Canadian-born U.S. experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, and popular science author. He wrote the book The Stuff of Thought in 2007 to get people motivated, educated and most of all interested in the English language. He portrays this in a very interesting and educational way.

The book is split up into seven chapters and within each of these seven chapters is a different aspect or topic associated with the intriguing use of words, told in a lingual nature. For instance, one of the chapters talk about transitive verbs and another talks about the seven words which you can't say on television. Each chapter has an in-depth telling of all of these spirals that get us confused, language-wise in our everyday lives.

What drew me in to this book, I believe, was the cover. I seem to remember the images striking me, and the blurb really got me interested. When I sat down and read the first chapter, it honestly got me really curious as to all the terms and words that I cannot understand, but are unveiled later in the chapters. Overall, I really enjoyed this book because it gets you thinking of all these aspects of this confusing language - and the others which I am yet to discover. But I can tell you one thing, you need to take a relatively large break between chapters, otherwise all this knowledge doesn't sink in that well. If you aren't even the slightest bit interested in reading, I suggest that you don't read this, purely because it gets on your mind quite easily and, I admit, it is a bit confusing and heavy at times.

By Katie L, Year 9