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Rik Smits

Rik Smits is a linguist, a science journalist and the author of books on a wide range of subjects, including The Left-Handed Picador. On left- and right-handedness: facts and fabrications (1993; translated into German) and (with Liesbeth Koenen) the Handbook of Dutch (2004).

Dageraad

Dageraad

Hoe taal de mens maakte

(Nieuw Amsterdam, 2009, 272 pagina's)

How did the human ability to communicate through language arise? Unlike insects and animals we all command one or more unique tongues, each with its own variants, adding up to billions of words worldwide. In Dawn Rik Smits presents a challenging vision of a subject that has not yet been fully researched.

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Het raadsel van linkshandigheid

Het raadsel van linkshandigheid

Hoe handvoorkeur de wereld kleurt

(Nieuw Amsterdam, 2010, 384 pagina's)

Throughout history left-handedness has been associated with clumsiness, maladies of all kinds and unpleasant character traits. All these negative connotations have meant that left-handed people were subjected to harsh treatment, even persecution. Today left-handedness no longer bears a stigma – it did not stop Barack Obama and four of his predecessors from becoming president of the United States – but we remain puzzled by the fact that around ten per cent of people, a constant and universal proportion, exhibit a congenital deviation from what we consider normal.

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