Language: “A Barometer of Society’s Health”


For the BBC, Hephzibah Anderson explores the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin, two authors who invented languages to color their fictional worlds. In addition, the article considers how words created by novelists are adopted by contemporary culture:

Language, as dystopian novels remind us over and over, is a barometer of a society’s health. With juicy regional dialects falling ever deeper into disuse and languages dying out globally (by some estimates, as many as 10,000 were once spoken; today it’s around 6,000, many of which have fewer than 1,000 speakers), it’s reassuring to know that wordsmiths are still labouring to expand our vocabularies…

Jake Slovis earned his MFA in Writing from Rutgers University, where he now teaches English Composition. He is a second-generation Argentine American and has spent significant time living and writing in Buenos Aires. He currently resides in Brooklyn. More from this author →