The fifth edition of The Greek & Latin Roots of English maintains the book’s much-praised thematic approach. After an essential overview of language history, Greek, and Latin, the book organizes vocabulary into various topics, including politics and government; psychology, medicine, and the biological sciences; literature, ancient culture, and religion; and philosophy. The fifth edition features revised cumulative exercises on tear-out pages in each chapter that reinforce both vocabulary and analytical skills from previous chapters. The fifth edition also features alphabetical vocabulary lists and other reader-friendly updates.
The Greek & Latin Roots of English remains an essential text to help students not only learn vocabulary, but also appreciate the pleasures (and pitfalls) of language study.
In his inimitably entertaining and wonderfully witty style, he takes apart famous phrases and shows how you too can write like Shakespeare or quip like Oscar Wilde. Whether you’re aiming to achieve literary immortality or just hoping to deliver the perfect one-liner, The Elements of Eloquence proves that you don’t need to have anything important to say—you simply need to say it well.
In an age unhealthily obsessed with the power of substance, this is a book that highlights the importance of style.
Language is always changing -- but we tend not to like it. We understand that new words must be created for new things, but the way English is spoken today rubs many of us the wrong way. Whether it’s the use of literally to mean “figuratively” rather than “by the letter,” or the way young people use LOL and like, or business jargon like What’s the ask? -- it often seems as if the language is deteriorating before our eyes.
But the truth is different and a lot less scary, as John McWhorter shows in this delightful and eye-opening exploration of how English has always been in motion and continues to evolve today. Drawing examples from everyday life and employing a generous helping of humor, he shows that these shifts are a natural process common to all languages, and that we should embrace and appreciate these changes, not condemn them.
Words on the Move opens our eyes to the surprising backstories to the words and expressions we use every day. Did you know that silly once meant “blessed”? Or that ought was the original past tense of owe? Or that the suffix -ly in adverbs is actually a remnant of the word like? And have you ever wondered why some people from New Orleans sound as if they come from Brooklyn?
McWhorter encourages us to marvel at the dynamism and resilience of the English language, and his book offers a lively journey through which we discover that words are ever on the move and our lives are all the richer for it.
Along the way, its colorful story takes in a host of remarkable people, places, and events: the Norman invasion of England in 1066; the arrival of The Canterbury Tales and a “coarse” playwright named William Shakespeare, who added 2,000 words to the language; the songs of slaves; the words of Davy Crockett; and the Lewis and Clark expedition, which led to hundreds of new words as the explorers discovered unknown flora and fauna. The Adventure of English is an enthralling story not only of power, religion, and trade, but also of a people and how they changed the world.
The first popular book to recount the exciting, very recent developments in tracing the origins of language, The First Word is at the forefront of a controversial, compelling new field. Acclaimed science writer Christine Kenneally explains how a relatively small group of scientists that include Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker assembled the astounding narrative of how the fundamental process of evolution produced a linguistic ape?in other words, us. Infused with the wonder of discovery, this vital and engrossing book offers us all a better understanding of the story of humankind.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2016
Landmarks is Robert Macfarlane's joyous meditation on words, landscape and the relationship between the two.
Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes are grained into our words. Landmarks is about
the power of language to shape our sense of place. It is a field guide to the literature of nature, and a glossary containing thousands of remarkable words used in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to describe land, nature and weather. Travelling from Cumbria to the Cairngorms, and exploring the landscapes of Roger Deakin, J. A. Baker, Nan Shepherd and others, Robert Macfarlane shows that language, well used, is a keen way of knowing landscape, and a vital means of coming to love it.
Praise for Robert Macfarlane:
'He has a poet's eye and a prose style that will make many a novelist burn with envy' John Banville, Observer
"I'll read anything Macfarlane writes" David Mitchell, Independent
'Every movement needs stars. In [Macfarlane] we surely have one, burning brighter with each book.' Telegraph '[Macfarlane] is a godfather of a cultural moment' Sunday Times
Japan's traditional culture is still so powerful that it continues to be the prevailing force in molding and tuning the national character of the Japanese, with the result that they still have two faces—one modern and rational, the other traditional and emotional.
The best and fastest way to an understanding of the traditional and emotional side of Japanese attitudes and behavior is through their "business and cultural code words"—key terms that reveal, in depth, their psychology and philosophy. In 234 essays, arranged alphabetically from "Ageashi / Tripping on Your Own Tongue" to "Zenrei / Breaking the Molds of the Past". Long-term expatriate and internationally renowned expert on Japan, Boye Lafayette De Mente offers personal insights into the extremes of Japanese behavior and into the dynamics of one of the world's most fascinating societies.
Find yourself pretending to work? That’s fudgelling.
And this could lead to rizzling, if you feel sleepy after lunch. Though you are sure to become a sparkling deipnosopbist by dinner. Just don’t get too vinomadefied; a drunk dinner companion is never appreciated.
The Horologicon (or book of hours) contains the most extraordinary words in the English language, arranged according to what hour of the day you might need them. From Mark Forsyth, the author of the #1 international bestseller, The Etymologicon, comes a book of weird words for familiar situations. From ante-jentacular to snudge by way of quafftide and wamblecropt, at last you can say, with utter accuracy, exactly what you mean.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s linguistic invention was a fundamental part of his artistic output, to the extent that later on in life he attributed the existence of his mythology to the desire to give his languages a home and peoples to speak them. As Tolkien puts it in ‘A Secret Vice’, ‘the making of language and mythology are related functions’’.
In the 1930s, Tolkien composed and delivered two lectures, in which he explored these two key elements of his sub-creative methodology. The second of these, the seminal Andrew Lang Lecture for 1938–9, ‘On Fairy-Stories’, which he delivered at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, is well known. But many years before, in 1931, Tolkien gave a talk to a literary society entitled ‘A Hobby for the Home’, where he unveiled for the first time to a listening public the art that he had both himself encountered and been involved with since his earliest childhood: ‘the construction of imaginary languages in full or outline for amusement’.
This talk would be edited by Christopher Tolkien for inclusion as ‘A Secret Vice’ in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays and serves as the principal exposition of Tolkien’s art of inventing languages. This new critical edition, which includes previously unpublished notes and drafts by Tolkien connected with the essay, including his ‘Essay on Phonetic Symbolism’, goes some way towards re-opening the debate on the importance of linguistic invention in Tolkien’s mythology and the role of imaginary languages in fantasy literature.
Oscar Wilde once said the Brits have "everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language."
Any visitor to Old Blighty can sympathize with Mr. Wilde. After all, even fluent English speakers can be at sixes and sevens when told to pick up the "dog and bone" or "head to the loo," so they can "spend a penny." Wherever did these peculiar expressions come from?
British author Christopher J. Moore made a name for himself on this side of the pond with the sleeper success of his previous book, In Other Words. Now, Moore draws on history, literature, pop culture, and his own heritage to explore the phrases that most embody the British character. He traces the linguistic influence of writers from Chaucer to Shakespeare and Dickens to Wodehouse, and unravels the complexity Brits manage to imbue in seemingly innocuous phrases like "All right." Along the way, Moore reveals the uniquely British origins of some of the English language’s more curious sayings. For example: Who is Bob and how did he become your uncle? Why do we refer to powerless politicians as “lame ducks”? How did “posh” become such a stylish word?
Part language guide, part cultural study, How to Speak Brit is the perfect addition to every Anglophile’s library and an entertaining primer that will charm the linguistic-minded legions.
Anecdotal, eclectic, and always enthusiastic, The Origins of English Words is a diverting expedition beyond linguistics into literature, history, folklore, anthropology, philosophy, and science.
…a mortgage is literally a death pledge? …why guns have girls’ names? …why salt is related to soldier?
You’re about to find out…
The Etymologicon (e-t?-‘mä-lä-ji-kän) is:
*Witty (wi-te\): Full of clever humor
*Erudite (er-?-dit): Showing knowledge
*Ribald (ri-b?ld): Crude, offensive
The Etymologicon is a completely unauthorized guide to the strange underpinnings of the English language. It explains: how you get from “gruntled” to “disgruntled”; why you are absolutely right to believe that your meager salary barely covers “money for salt”; how the biggest chain of coffee shops in the world (hint: Seattle) connects to whaling in Nantucket; and what precisely the Rolling Stones have to do with gardening.
Scholarly yet nontechnical, The Making of English explains in simple terms the relationships between English and other tongues--Greek, Latin, German, Spanish, and French. Topics include the similarities and differences between English and German, characteristics of Old English, and the composition, derivation, and root-creation involved in the process of the making of words. The author also discusses changes in meaning that occur over time, and profiles some historical figures who were influential in shaping the English language.
-William Safire, NY Times 6/22/2008
A fun, new approach to examining etymology!
Many common English words started out with an entirely different meaning than the one we know today. For example:
The word adamant came into English around 855 C.E. as a synonym for 'diamond,' very different from today's meaning of the word: "utterly unyielding in attitude or opinion."
Before the year 1200, the word silly meant "blessed," and was derived from Old English saelig, meaning "happy." This word went through several incarnations before adopting today's meaning: "stupid or foolish."
In Semantic Antics, lexicographer Sol Steinmetz takes readers on an in-depth, fascinating journey to learn how hundreds of words have evolved from their first meaning to the meanings used today.
From the Hardcover edition.
This is the 1st volume of the series, covering the 1st 100 most frequently used Chinese characters as presented with their full colour illustrations and arranged in columns from right to left on the front cover.
For its extensive colour illustrations throughout, this book is best read with a colour screen reader.
For something that happens every year of our lives, we really don't know much about Christmas.
We don't know that the date we celebrate was chosen by a madman, or that Christmas, etymologically speaking, means "Go away, Christ". Nor do we know that Christmas was first celebrated in 243 AD on March 28th - and only moved to 25th December in 354 AD. We're oblivious to the fact that the advent calendar was actually invented by a Munich housewife to stop her children pestering her for a Christmas countdown. And we would never have guessed that the invention of crackers was merely a way of popularising sweet wrappers.
Luckily, like a gift from Santa himself, Mark Forsyth is here to unwrap this fundamentally funny gallimaufry of traditions and oddities, making it all finally make sense - in his wonderfully entertaining wordy way.
Why do we say “I am reading a catalog” instead of “I read a catalog”? Why do we say “do” at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Language distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.
Covering such turning points as the little-known Celtic and Welsh influences on English, the impact of the Viking raids and the Norman Conquest, and the Germanic invasions that started it all during the fifth century ad, John McWhorter narrates this colorful evolution with vigor. Drawing on revolutionary genetic and linguistic research as well as a cache of remarkable trivia about the origins of English words and syntax patterns, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue ultimately demonstrates the arbitrary, maddening nature of English— and its ironic simplicity due to its role as a streamlined lingua franca during the early formation of Britain. This is the book that language aficionados worldwide have been waiting for (and no, it’s not a sin to end a sentence with a preposition).
Grammatical "rules" or "laws" are not like the law of gravity, or even laws against murder and theft--they're more like rules of etiquette, made by fallible people and subject to change. Witty, smart, full of passion for the world's language, Proper Words in Proper Places will entertain and educate in equal measure.
As the largest and most dynamic collection of words ever assembled, the English language continues to expand. But as hundreds of new words are added annually, older ones are sacrificed. Now from the author of Forgotten English comes a collection of fascinating archaic words and phrases, providing an enticing glimpse into the past. With beguiling period illustrations, The Word Museum offers up the marvelous oddities and peculiar enchantments of old and unusual words.
In That’s Not English, the seemingly superficial differences between British and American English open the door to a deeper exploration of a historic and fascinating cultural divide. In each of the thirty chapters, Erin Moore explains a different word we use that says more about us than we think. For example, "Quite" exposes the tension between English reserve and American enthusiasm; in "Moreish," she addresses our snacking habits. In "Partner," she examines marriage equality; in "Pull," the theme is dating and sex; "Cheers" is about drinking; and "Knackered" covers how we raise our kids. The result is a cultural history in miniature and an expatriate’s survival guide.
American by birth, Moore is a former book editor who specialized in spotting British books—including Eats, Shoots & Leaves—for the US market. She’s spent the last seven years living in England with her Anglo American husband and a small daughter with an English accent. That’s Not English is the perfect companion for modern Anglophiles and the ten million British and American travelers who visit one another’s countries each year.
These questions, and more, about our language catapulted Robert MacNeil and William Cran—the authors (with Robert McCrum) of the language classic The Story of English—across the country in search of the answers. Do You Speak American? is the tale of their discoveries, which provocatively show how the standard for American English—if a standard exists—is changing quickly and dramatically.
On a journey that takes them from the Northeast, through Appalachia and the Deep South, and west to California, the authors observe everyday verbal interactions and in a host of interviews with native speakers glean the linguistic quirks and traditions characteristic of each area. While examining the histories and controversies surrounding both written and spoken American English, they address anxieties and assumptions that, when explored, are highly emotional, such as the growing influence of Spanish as a threat to American English and the special treatment of African-American vernacular English. And, challenging the purists who think grammatical standards are in serious deterioration and that media saturation of our culture is homogenizing our speech, they surprise us with unpredictable responses.
With insight and wit, MacNeil and Cran bring us a compelling book that is at once a celebration and a potent study of our singular language.
Each wave of immigration has brought new words to enrich the American language. Do you recognize the origin of
1. blunderbuss, sleigh, stoop, coleslaw, boss, waffle?
2. dumb, ouch, shyster, check, kaput, scram, bummer?
3. phooey, pastrami, glitch, kibbitz, schnozzle?
4. broccoli, espresso, pizza, pasta, macaroni, radio?
5. smithereens, lollapalooza, speakeasy, hooligan?
6. vamoose, chaps, stampede, mustang, ranch, corral?
1. Dutch 2. German 3. Yiddish 4. Italian 5. Irish 6. Spanish
From the Hardcover edition.
Today's 18-year-olds may not know who Mrs. Robinson is, where the term "stuck in a groove" comes from, why 1984 was a year unlike any other, how big a bread box is, how to get to Peyton Place, or what the term Watergate refers to. I Love It When You Talk Retro discusses these verbal fossils that remain embedded in our national conversation long after the topic they refer to has galloped off into the sunset. That could be a person (Mrs. Robinson), product (Edsel), past bestseller (Catch-22), radio or TV show (Gangbusters), comic strip (Alphonse and Gaston), or advertisement (Where's the beef?) long forgotten. Such retroterms are words or phrases in current use whose origins lie in our past. Ralph Keyes takes us on an illuminating and engaging tour through the phenomenon that is Retrotalk—a journey, oftentimes along the timelines of American history and the faultlines of culture, that will add to the word-lover's store of trivia and obscure references.
"The phrase "drinking the Kool-Aid" is a mystery to young people today, as is "45rpm." Even older folks don't know the origins of "raked over the coals" and "cut to the chase." Keyes (The Quote Verifier) uses his skill as a sleuth of sources to track what he calls "retrotalk": "a slippery slope of puzzling allusions to past phenomena." He surveys the origins of "verbal fossils" from commercials (Kodak moment), jurisprudence (Twinkie defense), movies (pod people), cartoons (Caspar Milquetoast) and literature (brave new world). Some pop permutations percolated over decades: Radio's Take It or Leave It spawned a catch phrase so popular the program was retitled The $64 Question and later returned as TV's The $64,000 Question. Keyes's own book Is There Life After High School? became both a Broadway musical and a catch phrase. Some entries are self-evident or have speculative origins, but Keyes's nonacademic style and probing research make this both an entertaining read and a valuable reference work." --Publishers Weekly
In the examples column, the words which contain the root are then listed, starting with their prefixes. For example, esthesia, which means “feeling,” has as its prefixed roots alloesthesia, anesthesia, and dysesthesia. The listing then switches to words where the root itself forms the beginning, such as esthesiogenesis or esthesioneuroblastoma. These root-starting terms then are followed by words where the root falls in the middle or the end, as in acanthesthesia, cryesthesia, or osmesthesia. In this manner, A Thesaurus of Medical Word Roots places the word in as many word families as there are elements in the word.
This work will interest not only medical practitioners but linguists and philologists and anyone interested in the etymological aspects of medical terminology.
A collection of some of the most interesting stories and fascinating origins behind more than 300 words, names, and terms by the founder of WordSmith.org.
Did you know:
There’s a word for the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell? Petrichor, combining petros (Greek for stone) and ichor (the fluid that flows in the veins of Greek gods).
An illeist is one who refers to oneself in the third person.
There’s a word for feigning lack of interest in something while actually desiring it: accismus.
For any aspiring deipnosophist (a good conversationalist at meals) or devoted Philomath (a lover of learning), this anthology of entertaining etymology is an ideal way to have fun while getting smarter.
The Song of Middle-earth takes a fresh look at The Lord of the Rings, digging deep into the foundations of Tolkien’s world to reveal the complex tapestry of history and mythology that lies behind his stories.
The charge that Tolkien's work was merely derivative – that he extracted elements from other mythologies and incorporated them into his own fiction – is dismissed in favour of a fascinating examination of the rich historical background to Middle-earth.
From the mythic tradition of the Tales told in The Book of Lost Tales: I to the significance of oral storytelling throughout the history of Middle-earth, this book examines the common themes of mythology found within Tolkien’s work.
In doing so, The Song of Middle-earth demonstrates how Tolkien’s desire to create a new mythology for England is not only apparent in his writing, but also realised.
LIST OF PUBLICATIONS BY FREDERIK KORTLANDT
"?driaan Barentsen": O S?P?STAVI?EL'N IZUC?NII ?GR?NICI L'NY? VR NNY? S?JUZ?V SL?VJANS?I? JAZY V
"Robert S.P. Beekes": PALATALIZED CONSONANTS IN PRE-GREEK
"Uwe Blasing": TALYSCHI RIZ 'SPUR' UND VERWANDTE: EIN BEITRAG ZUR IRANISCHEN WORTFORSCHUNG
"Vaclav Blazek": CELTIC 'SMITH' AND HIS COLLEAGUES
"Johnny Cheung": THE OSSETIC CASE SYSTEM REVISITED
"Bardhyl Demiraj": ALB. RRUSH, ON RAGUSA UND GR. RHOKS "Rick Derksen": QUANTITY PATTERNS IN THE UPPER SORBIAN NOUN
"George E. Dunkel": LUVIAN ?TAR AND HOMERIC AR
"Jose L. Garcia Ramon": ERERBTES UND ERSATZKONTINUANTEN BEI DER REKONSTRUKTION VON INDOGERMANISCHEN KONSTRUKTIONSMUSTERN: IDG. *"G"' "HEU"- UND HETH. "LAHU-HHI" 'GIESSEN'
"Eric P. Hamp": INDO-EUROPEAN *"SG'HEDHLA"
"Andries van Helden": IS CASE A LINGUIST OR A FREDERIK?
"Tette Hofstra": AUS DEM BEREICH DER GERMANISCH-OSTSEEFINNISCHEN LEHNWORTFORSCHUNG: UBERLEGUNGEN ZUR ETYMOLOGIE VON FINNISCH "RYTAKKA" 'KRACH'
"Georg Holzer": STRUKTURELLE BESONDERHEITEN DES URSLAVISCHEN
"Wim Honselaar": REFLECTIONS ON RECIPROCITY IN RUSSIAN AND DUTCH
"Laszlo Honti": 'TIBI LIBER EST' 'HABES LIBRUM' (BEMERKUNGEN ZUR HERKUNFT DER HABITIVEN KONSTRUKTIONEN IM URALISCHEN)
"Peter Houtzagers": ON THE CAKAVIAN DIALECT OF KOLJNOF NEAR SOPRON
"Petri Kallio": ON THE "EARLY BALTIC" LOANWORDS IN COMMON FINNIC
"Janneke Kalsbeek": THE QUANTITY OF THE VOWEL I IN STIPAN KONZUL'S "KATEKIZAM" (1564)
"Jared S. Klein": INTERROGATIVE SEQUENCES IN THE RIGVEDA
"Jorma Koivulehto": FRUHE SLAVISCH-FINNISCHE KONTAKTE
"Leonid Kulikov": THE VEDIC TYPE "PATAYATI" REVISITED: SEMANTIC OPPOSITIONS, PARADIGMATIC RELATIONSHIPS AND HISTORICAL CONNECTIONS
"Winfred P. Lehmann": LINGUISTIC LAWS AND UNIVERSALS: THE TWAIN.
"Alexander Lubotsky": VEDIC 'OX' AND 'SACRIFICIAL CAKE'
"Ranko Matasovic": THE ORIGIN OF THE OLD IRISH F-FUTURE
"H. Craig Melchert": PROBLEMS IN HITTITE PRONOMINAL INFLECTION
"Cecilia Ode": COMMUNICATIVE FUNCTIONS AND PROSODIC LABELLING OF THREE RUSSIAN PITCH ACCENTS
"Norbert Oettinger": AN INDO-EUROPEAN CUSTOM OF SACRIFICE IN GREECE AND ELSEWHERE
"Harry Perridon": RECONSTRUCTING THE OBSTRUENTS OF PROTO-GERMANIC
"Georges-Jean Pinault": TOCHARIAN FRIENDSHIP
"?driana Pols": ROZDENIE SLOVARJA
"Arend Quak": ARCHAISCHE WORTER IN DEN MALBERGISCHEN GLOSSEN DER 'LEX SALICA'
"Jos Schaeken": NOCHMALS ZUR AKZENTUIERUNG DER KIEVER BLATTER
"Rudiger Schmitt": ZU DER FREMDBEZEICHNUNG ARMENIENS ALTPERS. "ARMINA"-
"Patrick Sims-Williams": THE PROBLEM OF SPIRANTIZATION AND NASALIZATION IN BRITTONIC CELTIC
"Han Steenwijk": THE MICROSTRUCTURE OF THE RESIANICA DICTIONARY
"Michiel de Vaan": SANSKRIT "TRIDHA" AND "TREDHA"
"William R. Veder": NON SECUNDUM SCIENTIAM: READING WHAT IS NOT THERE
"Theo Vennemann gen. Nierfeld: MUNZE, MINT, AND MONEY": AN ETYMOLOGY FOR LATIN "MONETA." WITH APPENDICES ON CARTHAGINIAN "TANIT" AND THE INDO-EUROPEAN "MONTH" WORD
"Willem Vermeer": THE PREHISTORY OF THE ALBANIAN VOWEL SYSTEM: A PRELIMINARY EXPLORATION
"Jos J.S. Weitenberg": DIPHTHONGIZATION OF INITIAL "E"- AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF INITIAL "Y"- IN ARMENIAN
Others have notoriety thrust upon them.
Few realize that their morning mouthwash bears the name of a life- saving British baron or that their sugary graham crackers would be abhorred by the health-food fanatic who concocted the flavorless original recipe. Throughout history, the proper names of figures both noble and notorious have slipped into the common and uncommon corners of our vocabulary. Tawdry Knickers and Other Unfortunate Ways to Be Remembered details the lamentable lives and legacies of history's most infamous namesakes and the words they inspired:
*Henry Shrapnel died of natural causes, despite having invented the shells whose shattering fragments would rain hellfire on soldiers from the Battle of Waterloo through the Vietnam War.
*Poor virgin St. Audrey suffered from a bulging neck tumor and the unwanted advances of an unsympathetic husband, but never lived to hear crass vendors eventually hawk her "tawdry" lace.
*If New York blueblood Harmen Knickerbocker isn't rolling over in his grave, his nineteenth-century drawers are at least in a twist over having his venerable family name associated with underwear.
*Barbara Handler has never been happy about providing the name for the original Barbie, to say nothing of her doll's plastic relationship with Ken-named for her real-life brother.
*In contrast to these, dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel avoided the inevitable "merchant of death" epitaph awaiting him by using his enormous explosives fortune to establish the Nobel Prize Foundation.
Want to know where your words come from? The surprising, humorous, and often ironic stories behind ninety notable eponyms will take you on an undercover tour of the etymological sausage factory.
Critical approaches of several schools of literary criticism; feminism, male gender studies, psychoanalysis, mythology, theory of style, linguistics, and sociolinguistics contrast the functional textual differentiations. A wide interdisciplinary need in literary projects is thus disclosed. Therefore, this volume is of interest for scholars of all branches of social and literary sciences.
Unprecedented are the models of masculinity and the images of men derived from a first person singular narrative by a Swiss woman writer. She works through the ontological process of subjectivity reflected in the image of a patriarch governor and Italian immigrant.
The chapter on "Swissness in the Text" is of crucial importance concerning the categorization of German Literature and questions about minor literature.
This socio-critical analysis shows that there is a transcendence between the writing subject-(author) and literature. Yet, the body can be retrieved from literature since "das Herz muss im Korper belassen werden, als Sitz der Erkenntnis," as Gertrud Leutenegger says. All her texts are body writings; her words originate in the female body experiencing constraints in Switzerland.
Noam Chomsky: Normally, humans, by maturity, have tens of thousands of them.
Ali G: What is some of 'em?
—Da Ali G Show
Did you know that both mammal and matter derive from baby talk? Have you noticed how wince makes you wince? Ever wonder why so many h-words have to do with breath?
Roy Blount Jr. certainly has, and after forty years of making a living using words in every medium, print or electronic, except greeting cards, he still can't get over his ABCs. In Alphabet Juice, he celebrates the electricity, the juju, the sonic and kinetic energies, of letters and their combinations. Blount does not prescribe proper English. The franchise he claims is "over the counter."
Three and a half centuries ago, Thomas Blount produced Blount's Glossographia, the first dictionary to explore derivations of English words. This Blount's Glossographia takes that pursuit to other levels, from Proto-Indo-European roots to your epiglottis. It rejects the standard linguistic notion that the connection between words and their meanings is "arbitrary." Even the word arbitrary is shown to be no more arbitrary, at its root, than go-to guy or crackerjack. From sources as venerable as the OED (in which Blount finds an inconsistency, at whisk) and as fresh as Urbandictionary.com (to which Blount has contributed the number-one definition of "alligator arm"), and especially from the author's own wide-ranging experience, Alphabet Juice derives an organic take on language that is unlike, and more fun than, any other.
The Secret Life of Words is a wide-ranging account not only of the history of English language and vocabulary, but also of how words witness history, reflect social change, and remind us of our past. Henry Hitchings delves into the insatiable, ever-changing English language and reveals how and why it has absorbed words from more than 350 other languages—many originating from the most unlikely of places, such as shampoo from Hindi and kiosk from Turkish. From the Norman Conquest to the present day, Hitchings narrates the story of English as a living archive of our human experience. He uncovers the secrets behind everyday words and explores the surprising origins of our most commonplace expressions. The Secret Life of Words is a rich, lively celebration of the language and vocabulary that we too often take for granted.
Through the fascinating stories of thirty English words used and understood in nearly all corners of the globe, The English Is Coming! takes readers on an eye-opening journey across culture and commerce, war and peace, and time and space. These mini-histories shed new light on everyday words: the strange turns of fate by which their meanings evolved and their new roles as the building blocks of the first language ever to forge a global community.
Exploring such familiar terms as shampoo (from a Hindi word for scalp and body hygiene long practiced in India); robot (coined by Czech painter Josef Capek for his brother Karel’s 1921 play about man-made creatures); credit (rooted in a prehistoric phrase of sacred significance: "to put heart into"); and dozens of others, Dunton-Downer reveals with clarity and humor how these linguistic artifacts embody the resilience, appeal, adoptability, and wild inclusiveness that English, through a series of historical accidents, gained on its road to worldwide reach. These words explain not only how English has managed to link our distant and often disparate pasts but also how it is propelling humankind to a future that we can, for the first time, talk about and shape in a language that now belongs to all of us: Global English.
Perfect for culture buffs, armchair travelers, and language lovers alike, The English Is Coming! is sure to inspire truly global conversations for decades to come.
Johnson imagined that he could complete the job in three years. But the complexity of English meant that his estimate was wildly inadequate. Only after he had expended nearly a decade of his prime on the task did the dictionary finally appear - magisterial yet quirky, dogmatic but generous of spirit, and steeped in the richness of English literature. It would come to be seen as the most important British cultural monument of the eighteenth century, and its influence fanned out across Europe and throughout Britain's colonies - including, crucially, America.
Brilliantly entertaining and enlightening, Defining the World is the story of Johnson's heroic endeavor, 250 years after the first publication of the Dictionary. In alphabetically sequenced chapters, Henry Hitchings describes Johnson's adventure - his ambition and vision, his moments of despair, the mistakes he made along the way, and his ultimate triumph.
English is a glorious mess of a language, cobbled together from a wide variety of sources and syntaxes, and changing over time with popular usage. Many of the words and usages we embrace as standard and correct today were at first considered slang, impolite, or just plain wrong.
Whether you consider yourself a stickler, a nitpicker, or a rule-breaker in the know, Bad English is sure to enlighten, enrage, and perhaps even inspire. Filled with historic and contemporary examples, the book chronicles the long and entertaining history of language mistakes, and features some of our most common words and phrases, including:
Lively, surprising, funny, and delightfully readable, this is a book that will settle arguments among word lovers—and it’s sure to start a few, too.
Did you know...
--Only a human (not an animal or thing) is "able" to do something
--The five on dice is called cinque
--"K" for strike-out in baseball comes from the last letter of "struck"
--To skice is to frisk about like squirrels in spring
For word lovers everywhere, Word Nerd is a rich-and fun-compendium of more than 17,000 fascinating facts about words. Bestselling author Barbara Anne Kipfer has spent years compiling little known tidbits about common-and not so common-words in the English language.
Filled with interesting information about words, sure to amaze and spark conversation, this incredible collection is perfect for the word nerd in each of us.
Anonymous, adj. Anonymous.
Anonyponymous, adj. Anonymous and eponymous.
The Earl of Sandwich, fond of salted beef and paired slices of toast, found a novel way to eat them all together. Etienne de Silhouette, a former French finance minister, was so notoriously cheap that his name became a byword for chintzy practices-such as substituting a darkened outline for a proper painted portrait. Both bequeathed their names to the language, but neither man is remembered.
In this clever and funny book, John Bemelmans Marciano illuminates the lives of these anonyponymous persons. A kind of encyclopedia of linguistic biographies, the book is arranged alphabetically, giving the stories of everyone from Abu "algorithm" Al-Khwarizmi to Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Along with them you'll find the likes of Harry Shrapnel, Joseph-Ignace Guillotine, and many other people whose vernacular legacies have long outlived their memory.
Accented by amusing line portraits and short etymological essays on subjects like "superhero eponyms," Anonyponymous is both a compendium of trivia and a window into the fascinating world of etymology. Carefully curated and unfailingly witty, this book is both a fantastic gift for language lovers and a true pleasure to read.
Weekley's Dictionary is a work of thorough scholarship. It contains one of the largest lists of words and phrases to be found in any singly etymological dictionary — and considerably more material than in the standard concise edition, with fuller quotes and historical discussions. Included are most of the more common words used in English as well as slang, archaic words, such formulas as "I. O. U.," made-up words (such as Carroll's "Jabberwock"), words coined from proper nouns, and so on. In each case, roots in Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, Greek or Latin, Old and modern French, Anglo-Indian, etc., are identified; in hundreds of cases, especially odd or amusing listings, earliest known usage is mentioned and sense is indicated in quotations from Dickens, Shakespeare, Chaucer, "Piers Plowman," Defoe, O. Henry, Spenser, Byron, Kipling, and so on, and from contemporary newspapers, translations of the Bible, and dozens of foreign-language authors.
As much social commentary as a book for word lovers, EUPHEMANIA is a lively and thought-provoking look at the power of words and our power over them.