I remember an interesting book, in which the state of science was quite advanced, and, the process of learning a particular advanced profession was less about learning the related skills, and more about learning how to speak the language.

Can you help me identify this book (or maybe it was a series)?

2 Answers 2


That reminds me of Charles Sheffield's novella "At the Eschaton" which became "Tomorrow and Tomorrow", 1997

"Language must have changed completely," I said. "I cannot understand them at all." "Understand them? The doctors?" He looked surprised. "Of course not. Neither can I. Naturally they are speaking Medicine. " I raised my eyebrows. The look must have survived with its meaning intact, for he went on. "I speak Music and History..."


You might be thinking of "The Languages of Pao", by Jack Vance.

Obligatory Wikipedia cite

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    That's not quite it - in the book I'm looking for, languages evolved as a side effect of the level of specialization required before being able to participate in work in a particular field. Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 19:13

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