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Alphabet Juice

The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory

Roy Blount, Jr.

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Descripción

Ali G: How many words does you know?

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.

Reseña de Publishers Weekly

18/08/2008 – Blount (Long Time Leaving) is a contributing editor to the Atlantic Monthly, a regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! quiz show and a usage consultant to the American Heritage Dictionary. He displays his pleasure in words with his subtitle—“The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; with Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory”—as he dishes up an alphabetical array of “verbal reverberations,” weasel words and linguistic acrobatics from “aardvark” to “zoology” (“Pronounced zo-ology. Not zoo-ology. Look at the letters. Count the o's”). Along the way, he compares dictionaries, slings slang, digs for roots, posts ripostes and dotes on anecdotes. The format is nearly identical to Roy Copperud's still valuable but out-of-print A Dictionary of Usage and Style (1964). Blount's book is equally instructive and scholarly, but is also injected with a full dose of word play on steroids. Quotes, quips, euphemisms, rhymes and rhythms, literary references (“Lo-lee-ta”) and puns: “The lowest form of wit, it used to be said, but that was before Ann Coulter.” Throughout, the usage advice is sage and also fun, since the writer's own wild wit, while bent and Blount, is razor sharp.

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Alphabet Juice
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  • $9.99
  • Disponible en iPhone, iPad, iPod touch y Mac.
  • Categoría: Artes y disciplinas lingüísticas
  • Publicación: 29/09/2009
  • Editorial: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Vendedor: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Páginas impresas: 250 páginas
  • Idioma: Inglés
  • Requisitos: Para ver este libro, debes tener un dispositivo iOS con iBooks 1.3.1 (o posterior) y iOS 4.3.3 (o posterior), o un Mac con iBooks 1.0 (o posterior) y OS X 10.9 (o posterior).

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