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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Reviews

5.0
2 total
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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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Features
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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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Phil Cousineau
First published in 1998 and updated with a new preface by the author, The Art of Pilgrimage is a sacred travel guide in book form that is full of inspiration for the spiritual traveler.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker and host of the acclaimed Global Spirits series seen on PBS and Link TV, Phil Cousineau weaves stories, myths, parables, and quotes from famous travelers with practical suggestions and accounts of modern-day pilgrims to show that there is something sacred waiting to be discovered in virtually every journey. Connecting these voices is a series of meditations that suggest different ways to practice what pilgrims and poets have done for centuries, to see with the “eyes of the heart.” With more than 70 illustrations, this book is for the traveler who longs for something more than diversion and escape.

The Art of Pilgrimage shows that every journey can be sacred, soulful, and transformative if it is undertaken with a desire for spiritual risk and renewal. Whether traveling to Mecca or Memphis, Stonehendge or Cooperstown, one’s journey becomes meaningful when the traveler’s heart and imagination are open to experiencing the sacred.

Reviews of The Art of the Pilgrimage:

“If Joseph Campbell, the Dalai Lama, and Bill Moyers were to have collaborated on a book about journeys. . . I suspect it would look very much like The Art of Pilgrimage.” —Austin American Statesman

“Pilgrim, read this book. Whatever your longing, path, or destination, Phil Cousineau gives you the most valuable gear you could pack in your satchel – how to travel outward to the edges of the world while simultaneously journey to the depths of your soul.” —Anthony Lawlor, Foundation for Consciousness in Architecture

“Sorely needed in this dispirited and disenchanted world.” —Bill Moyers

Phil Cousineau
"If we harbor thoughts of violence or hatred, or seek revenge or retribution, we are contributing to the wounding of the world; if we transform those thoughts into forgiveness and compassion, and then move beyond them to actually make amends or restitution, we are contributing to the healing of the world. This timely, powerful and compassionate book helps show us the way."
—Deepak Chopra

"Nothing will help us survive the present age more than breaking the tragic cycles of violence and revenge that threaten our very existence. To do so, we must honor our soul's desire for deeper forms of reconciliation, a process that Phil Cousineau reveals here as being on the other side of forgiveness, in the ancient ritual of atonement. His book is a profoundly important contribution to the healing of the world, and I give it my blessing."
—Robert A. Johnson, author of Transformation, Inner Work and Owning Your Own Shadow

As indispensable as forgiveness has been to the healing process throughout history, there is another equally profound action that is needed for ultimate reconciliation, which Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, calls “the other side of the coin.” Turning over the coin of forgiveness, we discover atonement, the half-hidden, much-overlooked other half of the reconciliation process.

Beyond Forgiveness shows how acts of atonement—making amends, providing restitution, restoring balance—can relieve us of the pain of the past and give us a hopeful future. This rich and powerful book includes 15 thoughtful contributions by high-profile thinkers and activists including Huston Smith, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Azim Khamisa, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Jacob Needleman, Michael Nagler, Diane Hennacy Powell, James O’Dea, Arun Gandhi, Kate Dahlstedt, Ed Tick, Richard J. Meyer, Rev. Heng Sure, Douglas George-Kanentiio and Katharine Dever. Atonement is put forward as a process that we must all learn to practice—from individuals to nations—if we are to heal our wounds and move forward.

Phil Cousineau
First published in 1998 and updated with a new preface by the author, The Art of Pilgrimage is a sacred travel guide in book form that is full of inspiration for the spiritual traveler.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker and host of the acclaimed Global Spirits series seen on PBS and Link TV, Phil Cousineau weaves stories, myths, parables, and quotes from famous travelers with practical suggestions and accounts of modern-day pilgrims to show that there is something sacred waiting to be discovered in virtually every journey. Connecting these voices is a series of meditations that suggest different ways to practice what pilgrims and poets have done for centuries, to see with the “eyes of the heart.” With more than 70 illustrations, this book is for the traveler who longs for something more than diversion and escape.

The Art of Pilgrimage shows that every journey can be sacred, soulful, and transformative if it is undertaken with a desire for spiritual risk and renewal. Whether traveling to Mecca or Memphis, Stonehendge or Cooperstown, one’s journey becomes meaningful when the traveler’s heart and imagination are open to experiencing the sacred.

Reviews of The Art of the Pilgrimage:

“If Joseph Campbell, the Dalai Lama, and Bill Moyers were to have collaborated on a book about journeys. . . I suspect it would look very much like The Art of Pilgrimage.” —Austin American Statesman

“Pilgrim, read this book. Whatever your longing, path, or destination, Phil Cousineau gives you the most valuable gear you could pack in your satchel – how to travel outward to the edges of the world while simultaneously journey to the depths of your soul.” —Anthony Lawlor, Foundation for Consciousness in Architecture

“Sorely needed in this dispirited and disenchanted world.” —Bill Moyers

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