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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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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Japanese is a wonderful language, very different from European languages. It is also the gateway to the rich culture of the exciting and complex island nation of Japan. Some people get intimidated by the prospect of speaking Japanese—worried that it’s just too complex and different—but these fears are unfounded. While you can devote a lifetime to the study of this or any language, picking up the basics of Japanese doesn’t require any more than an interest and a willingness to try something new.

Japanese For Dummies has everything you need to get off the ground with speaking the language. Author and Professor of Japanese Eriko Sato starts you off with the essentials of grammar and pronunciation, giving you a working sense of the language, before showing you Japanese in action. You’ll then explore vocabulary and expressions through dialogues taking place in situations such as:

Introductions and greetings Eating and drink ing Shopping Exploring the town Talking on the telephone Asking directions Getting around Staying at a hotel

You’ll also discover social customs, formalities, and manners, from how and when to bow to how to unwrap a present. Whether you simply want to introduce yourself to the Japanese language, say a few words to a neighbor or coworker, or you’re planning a major trip or study abroad in Japan, Japanese For Dummies will enable you to get the basics fast and work towards your own goal at your own pace. You’ll also find out about:

How to use karaoke to help you learn Japanese Movies that will introduce you to Japanese culture and language Learning Japanese the “gourmet” way When ignoring “no, thank you” shows good manners Proper table manners Proper body language How to sound fluent And much more!

With helpful vocabulary summaries, a mini-dictionary at the end, and an audio CD full of conversations and pronunciations, Japanese For Dummies assumes no prior knowledge of Japanese on your part—providing the perfect guide for a quick-but-thorough, lighthearted-but-not-lightweight introduction to the language.

"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.
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

Perdoar é melhor que se vingar, disse Heráclito.Mas perdoar somente não basta. Pois um ato cruel, mau, destrutivo, inconsequente, causa desequilíbrio no mundo, e este precisa ser restaurado de alguma forma.Para restaurar o equilíbrio, é necessária a reparação, ou atonement (at-one-ment), palavra que significa tornar inteiro novamente.Tradição em muitos povos, é a prática que permite ao abusador se arrepender e fazer algo para reparar o mal feito. A reparação é necessária e funciona mesmo quando feita por outra pessoa, não pelo perpetrador do ato.Sem a reparação, falta o reconhecimento da humanidade tanto no abusador quanto no prejudicado. “Eu reconheço que você foi machucado em sua humanidade”, diz o abusador. “E eu reconheço que você é humano e falha”, diz o machucado.“O que posso fazer para aliviar meu senso de culpa e dar vazão ao meu arrependimento?”Essa é a pergunta e a consequente ação que operam milagres e restabelecem a ética, solucionam conflitos e estancam a cadeia de violência que o mal iniciou.A alma é sanada assim como a sociedade.A partir do perdão e da reparação, inicia-se uma nova vida.Phil Cousineau entrevistou e colheu textos de personalidades mundiais que se destacaram por suas práticas de não violência. São pilares de amor pela humanidade, sabedores que, se praticarmos olho por olho e dente por dente, acabaremos todos cegos e desdentados.A prática do atonement muda o presente, o futuro, como também o passado.Diz Tutu: “A não ser que você trate o passado de forma criadora e positiva, corre o terrível perigo de não ter um futuro sobre o qual valha a pena falar. O passado pode ter um impacto desastroso ou benéfico sobre o futuro. A África do Sul será corroída gravemente se aqueles que se beneficiaram do odioso sistema de apartheid, considerados os opressores, não pedirem perdão pelas coisas hediondas feitas sob o apartheid e se as vítimas – os oprimidos – não lhes derem o seu perdão.
"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.

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