Wordcatcher: An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words

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Who knew that the great country of Canada is named for a mistake? How about "bedswerver," the best Elizabethan insult to hurl at a cheating boyfriend? By exploring the delightful back stories of the 250 words in Wordcatcher, readers are lured by language and entangled in etymologies. Author Phil Cousineau takes us on a tour into the obscure territory of word origins with great erudition and endearing curiosity. The English poet W. H. Auden was once asked to teach a poetry class, and when 200 students applied to study with him, he only had room for 20 of them. When asked how he chose his students, he said he picked the ones who actually loved words. So too, with this book — it takes a special wordcatcher to create a treasure chest of remarkable words and their origins, and any word lover will relish the stories that Cousineau has discovered.
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About the author

PHIL COUSINEAU is a freelance writer, filmmaker, photographer, art and literary tour leader, creativity consultant, flâneur, and nyctophiliac, a lifelong lover of the night. Cousineau has published over thirty books, which have been translated into numerous languages; earned twenty-five documentary film writing credits; and contributed to 50 other books. His previous books include Wordcatcher, which was named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by NPR, and The Painted Word. Currently, he is the host and cowriter of the much-acclaimed television series “Global Spirit,” which plays nationwide on PBS, and worldwide at www.globalspirittv.com. Global Spirit offers insights into some of humankind’s deepest eternal questions, tracing our collective journey in the timeless quest for truth, wisdom and understanding. Each program highlights the trans-cultural, transcendent dimensions of human inquiry, from the ancient or indigenous wisdom traditions to the latest advances in science. Global Spirit offers a glimmer of what's possible. Phil also guest-hosts the radio show New Dimensions. He lives with his family in the land of nighthawks, North Beach, San Francisco. For more information about Cousineau’s books, films, lectures, workshops, writing consultations, and art and literary tours, visit www.philcousineau.net.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Mar 15, 2010
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781573445504
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / Etymology
Reference / Dictionaries
Reference / Word Lists
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"Where can we find what is ultimately meaningful? How can we discover what is truly worth knowing?" In one form or another Huston Smith has been posing these questions to himself—and the world—all his life. In the course of seeking answers, he has become one of the most interesting, enlightening, and celebrated voices on the subject of religion and spirituality throughout the world. The twenty-three interviews and essays in this volume, edited by cultural historian and filmmaker Phil Cousineau, offer a uniquely personal perspective on Smith's own personal journey, as well as wide-ranging reflection on the nature and importance of the religious quest.

In The Way Things Are, readers will find Smith in conversation with some of the world's most influential personalities and religious leaders, from journalist Bill Moyers to religion scholar Philip Novak, and recounting his personal experiences with such luminaries as Joseph Campbell, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Daisetz Suzuki, Ram Dass, and the Dalai Lama. Throughout these engaging exchanges Smith speaks with passion and humor of his upbringing as the son of missionary parents in China, of the inspiring and colorful individuals he has known, and of his impressions of the different religious and philosophical traditions he has encountered. A fascinating view of the state of world religion and religious leadership over the past fifty years, the book also looks to the future with a final interview on the vital importance of the transcendent message of religion for the post-9/11 world. Readers will find The Way Things Are to be Huston Smith's most and accessible book to date.
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