Work / Writing

It’s Nice That Selfridges Talks Series – Words as Words

We’re gearing up for another jam-packed evening of ideas. Don’t be misled by the simplicity of the title, we will be broadening our horizons and expanding our minds for the third talk of the series, Words as Words. We’ve invited experts in the form of a lexicographer, a novelist, and a clinical scientist/speech therapist to enlighten us on language – how it has evolved, how it is used, experimentation with format, and what happens when we lose language skills. This is set to be a corker!

Poet and lexicographer at the Oxford English Dictionary, Giles Goodland will talk about the origins of the OED, discussing its current status as an online dictionary and resource for the history of the English language, as well as for current variations spoken throughout the world. He will also explore how artists and writers from James Joyce onwards have used the OED as a source of inspiration and, in some cases, appropriation.

Conventional novels that use traditional narrative techniques sell by the million, so why experiment? Richard Beard, writer and director of the National Academy of Writing, will explore the whys and hows behind some of the story-telling experiments in his novels and stories. He will then look at new reading platforms, like the Kindle and i-Pad, and consider whether these fresh formats are likely to encourage or deter the experimental spirit.

Clinical scientist and speech therapist Dr. Jenny Crinion (the Institute of Cognitive Neurscience, UCL), will explain the neuroimaging techniques she uses to understand how the brain works when we speak, and what happens in people who lose their ability to ‘find the right words’ after a stroke (aphasia). As well as introducing the new brain stimulation methods she is developing to help language recovery, a creative director in treatment with Dr. Crinion will share firsthand what it is like to experience aphasia.

More info and Tickets