The New York Times

Swimming in Words With Oliver Sacks

HIS LOVE OF LANGUAGE WAS A GIFT IN ITSELF.

The beloved neurologist and author Oliver Sacks was a man of many enthusiasms — for ferns, cephalopods, motorbikes, minerals, swimming, smoked salmon and Bach, to name a few — but none more so than for words.

When I say he loved words, I don’t simply mean within the context of being a writer of numerous classic books — “Awakenings,” “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” “Musicophilia.” Even if he had never written a single one, I am sure Oliver would still have been that funny fellow who took giant

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