Identify book like Lunatic Lovers of Language?
April 22, 2005 10:02 AM   Subscribe

In the 1980s I came across a slim book about people with language-related mental disorders, such as a person who had a phobia of English and chose to speak French for the rest of his life. This book was NOT Lunatic Lovers of Language by Marina Yaguello. Can you identify it?

More details: I came across this book remaindered at the Yale Coop circa 1985-1987. It had a biographical chapter for each person (as I recall) and treated its subjects sympathetically but with some humour. It seemed to have been published by a small or academic press.

It's one of my lasting regrets that I did not buy this book when I had the chance. However, I bought the Codex Seraphinianus remaindered at the same store for $30, so I suppose there are compensations...
posted by rwhe to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could it have been something by Oliver Sacks?
posted by uncleozzy at 10:31 AM on April 22, 2005

Was it Oliver Sacks' The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat (1985)?

On preview - as per uncleozzy.
posted by ericb at 10:34 AM on April 22, 2005

Response by poster: uncleozzy and ericb, thank you for suggesting Sacks. I haven't read the book, but I am somewhat familiar with it. The book I am thinking of dealt with language-related disorders specifically. I don't think this is true of the Sacks book, is it?
posted by rwhe at 10:53 AM on April 22, 2005

rwhe: that's correct, that is not true of the Sacks book. The Sacks book is excellent, but I don't believe the phobia of english example you mentioned is in The Man who.... (although it sounds like something he would write).
posted by null terminated at 10:55 AM on April 22, 2005

When I read your question I was sure the disorder had a name and thought of working 'backwards' towards the desired book - hence finding glossolalia - "glossolalia Gibberish-like speech or "speaking in tongues." in a psychiatric dictionary.

It may be a longshot but have a scan through this lot. I noted from google that the book I thought might be it was listed mostly by religious sites.
And I guess wiki shows why.

I'm not sure if any of this moves you further down the track.
posted by peacay at 11:59 AM on April 22, 2005

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