Language Changes as We Wait for Atwood

Many readers will have followed the television adaptations and developments of Margaret Atwood’s great novel The Handmaid’s Tale. If you’ve not read it, do so. Her sequel to that novel has been shrouded in secrecy and careful marketing manipulation of expectation, which led to an outcry this week when Amazon shipped some orders in advance of the publication date. It is titled The Testaments and is shortlisted for the Booker Prize, perhaps the most prestigious literary award. A number of the books chosen this year are quite challenging, in different ways. Read about them here.

Films are often made of novels, but it also goes the other way, and ‘novelisations’ have enduring popular appeal. We might not consider them literary in the conventional sense, but they sell in great numbers.

As literature students, you should also consider language and linguistic changes over time; all of us are aware of the constant flexibility of language. Here is an amusing and thoughtful TED talk about the sociolinguistics of texting and why it’s OK to text without grammar – it’s not the end of civilisation!