While doing so once more today, I found Stormy Peter's post What are you reading? (A book meme) which states the following:
- Grab the nearest book.
- Open it to page 56.
- Find the fifth sentence.
- Post the text of the sentence on your blog along with these instructions.
- Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.
So here's my closest book:
"Wilson (1972) provides a (now rather dated) overview of animal communication systems, and Hövelmann (1989) provides a good counterbalance for those easily swayed by the propaganda that is broadcast in this area of study."
from Language Matters by Laurie Bauer, Jamet Holmes, and Paul Warren.
The book's a introduction to linguistics. In this chapter, they talk about the origin and development of languages and the numerous (often almost ridiculous) theories surrounding it. One of them is called "bow wow" theory which states that our language developed from humans imitating animal sounds (=onomatopoeia).
The sentence is in the "Reading an References" section, hence it's unusual appearance.
(Some hints for the German-speaking reader: counterbalance - Gegengewicht, to be swayed by sth. - sich von etw. beeinflussen lassen, broadcast - hinaussenden; hier:herumerzählen)