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Media - Language as a Way of Knowing

In an exclusive preview of his book The Stuff of Thought, Steven Pinker looks at language and how it expresses what goes on in our minds -- and how the words we choose communicate much more than we realize.

Aphorism enthusiast and author James Geary waxes on a fascinating fixture of human language: the metaphor. Friend of scribes from Aristotle to Elvis, metaphor can subtly influence the decisions we make, Geary says.

Jane Goodall hasn't found the missing link, but she's come closer than nearly anyone else. The primatologist says the only real difference between humans and chimps is our sophisticated language. She urges us to start using it to change the world.

"Speaking came thousands of years before writing. All writing that has developed since its invention can be traced back to two civilizations: Sumerian and Chinese. Matthew Winkler dissects the evolution of Sumerian cuneiform and explains the difference between writing those first symbols and simply drawing meaning." View the complete lesson at TED-Ed.

Almost everything Da Vinci wrote in his journals is back-to-front and the letters inverted. Was Da Vinci's mirror writing a deliberate form of code or is it possible that he was dyslexic?

Language as a way of knowing