The Dinkum Dictionary tells the stories behind the origins of a rich mix of distinctly Australian words and phrases, and with more than twenty new entries the third edition is an essential reference for the home, the office, the classroom, for anyone curious about how and why we use words.
'Proof positive that the Australian language still fizzes and sparkles like fireworks. Sue Butler's Dinkum Dictionary is a little bottler.' Kel Richards, ABC Radio
This book is for anyone—novice wordsmith, sensuous reader, or career grammarian—who loves to get physical with words. What is the universal sign of disgust, ew, doing in beautiful and cutie? Why is toadless, but not frogless, in the Oxford English Dictionary? How can the U. S. Supreme Court find relevance in gollywoddles? Might there be scientific evidence for the sonicky value of hunch? And why would someone not bother to spell correctly the very word he is trying to define on Urbandictionary.com?
Digging into how locutions evolve, and work, or fail, Blount draws upon everything from The Tempest to The Wire. He takes us to Iceland, for salmon-watching with a "girl gillie," and to Georgian England, where a distinguished etymologist bites off more of a "giantess" than he can chew. Jimmy Stewart appears, in connection with kludge and the bombing of Switzerland. Litigation over supercalifragilisticexpialidocious leads to a vintage werewolf movie; news of possum-tossing, to metanarrative.
As Michael Dirda wrote in The Washington Post Book World, "The immensely likeable Blount clearly possesses what was called in the Italian Renaissance ‘sprezzatura,' that rare and enviable ability to do even the most difficult things without breaking a sweat." Alphabetter Juice is brimming with sprezzatura. Have a taste.
For thirty years, Macquarie Dictionary editor Susan Butler has been in the front row watching Australians alternatively defend, reject, embrace and argue heatedly about every aspect of language usage. She has witnessed crusades against 'youse', ducked the missiles over the phrase 'man boobs', pondered the changing pronunciation of 'Beijing', recorded - controversially - the evolving meaning of 'misogyny' and wondered why on earth we still cling to the grammarian's flourish known as the apostrophe.
Drawing on her own depth of experience, community consultation and the odd letter of outrage, Butler chronicles her unique adventures with the wonderfully malleable but strangely resilient beast known as the English language, and pays particular attention to the way Australians have trained it to fit their circumstances.
Entertaining, insightful and occasionally irreverent, The Aitch Factor is the perfect book for word warriors, punctuation pedants and everyday lovers of language.
Let me make a prediction.
I predict that many, many hundreds of people who will read this description will close this page in a few seconds.
“Learn a new language in a few months? Are you out of your mind?” they’ll say. “It’s just too good to be true.”
And they will go back to their old language learning methods.
You know which methods: toiling away at mind-numbing grammar exercises, learning words nobody uses, and, most importantly, never actually using your skills to communicate with another person.
If you’re still with me, I expect you to be different. You think there must be something better. After all, how could people master more than one foreign language in their lives if it usually takes a regular person several years just to learn the basics?
The answer is simple – in one way or another, they follow the methods I share in How to Learn Any Language in a Few Months While Enjoying Yourself. They not only learn up to ten times faster than other people, they also have a lot of fun while doing it.
How to Learn Any Language in a Few Months While Enjoying Yourself is for you if you want to learn:
- without this one thing, you’ll never learn a new language in just a few months. Learn what it is and how to apply it to your everyday life to practice your skills while doing your daily activities.
- a completely free way to get native speakers to proofread your writings (and even explain to you all of your mistakes). This one site alone can dramatically improve your writing skills.
- an extremely easy way to find a native speaker willing to help you learn her mother language. It’s almost like having a private tutor.
- the proper way to improve your listening skills while watching movies. Most people learning a foreign language do it the wrong way and it does nothing to improve their abilities.
- how to achieve more with less when learning languages. You don’t have to spend hours and hours cramming every single word and grammar rule. In fact, it works to your detriment. Learn what to do instead.
- 9 common mistakes to avoid when learning languages. Reading this chapter alone can save you years of ineffective studies – especially mistake #3, so common among language learners.
- a 5-step process to improve your reading skills. You can make your learning process much more enjoyable and effective by choosing the right things to read. Learn what these things are.
- a fun idea to learn how to write the way native speakers do. You too can learn the slang and phrases only native speakers use – and know the language better than many academic professors.
- how to dramatically improve your language skills when traveling. While it isn’t necessary to go abroad to learn a language, it’s a powerful way to cram a lot of learning into just a few days.
- 5 common challenges of language learners and how to deal with them. Learn how to get over the fear of communicating with native speakers. Discover how to find more time to learn and practice your skills. Read three tips on how to deal with discouragement.
If you’re ready to supercharge your progress and become fluent in a foreign language in as little as a few months, click the buy button.
Why kill yourself doing things the old, non-effective way, if you could make the process much easier and enjoy it more, too?
P.S. As a gift for buying my book, you’ll get a resource list with my favorite language learning sites.
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Based on ten years of research, East to the Dawn provides a richly textured portrait of Earhart in all her complexity. It's the perfect complement to the October 2009 movie Amelia, starring Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, and Ewan McGregor.