Books on Words

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Grand Panjandrum
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Books on Words

Postby Slava » Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:00 am

As a separate idea from a literary book discussion section, how about a section on discussing Books on Words? I'm just finishing "Eats, Shoots & Leaves," which is what makes me think of this. I've read a couple of other trivia books and collections of weird words, as I'm sure most of the Agora has. Perhaps some of the folks out there would like a spot into which they can spout off?


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Postby Perry » Mon Jan 08, 2007 1:50 pm

No books leap to my own memory banks, but I like the idea.
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Postby Bailey » Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:59 pm

I'm reading "The Lady in White" by Wilke Collins, written in that florid 19th century style that seems to take a 1000 words to say one simple thought, I hear they made a Broadway Musical from it, sigh.

mark may-take-a-long-time-to-read Bailey

Oh, Books ON words, not books with too many words, sowwy

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Postby sluggo » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:52 am

Does "Mots d'Heures: Gousses, Rames" count? Is it just me, or was that one of the funniest books I've ever read?

Sadly mine copy is lost to the ages though some site has several that sadly lack the explanations which I thought were the best part of the book:

Reine, reine, gueux éveille.
Gomme à gaine, en horreur, taie.

("Queen, Queen, arouse the rabble
Who use their girdles -horrors- as pillow slips")
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!

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Postby Stargzer » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:07 pm

Does "Mots d'Heures: Gousses, Rames" count? Is it just me, or was that one of the funniest books I've ever read?
Hmmmm ... SYSTRNet turned this:
Eh ! dites-le, dites-le,
de quatre et méfie de le.
Haine de caoutchouc me
Douvres de mou.
Le lit le dos que l’a fait de
Tous s’y sèchent à c’port
Et de digérant, ohé!
Ouida, ce pou.
which is supposed to be "Hey, Diddle, Diddle!" into this:
Eh! say it, say it,
of four and is wary of.
Hatred of rubber me
Dover of slackness.
The bed the back that made of
All dries there with it port
And of digesting, ohé!
Ouida, this louse.
... although was able to translate ohé as ship ahoy, ahoy there, and hello.

I think something got lost in the translation ...

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Postby gailr » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:44 pm

I liked The Deluxe Transitive Vampire (Subject-Verb Agreement: "The lingua franca in these parts is Rumanian mixed with blood and cash.") and Torn Wings and Faux Pas.

I've found the former helpful when tutoring catch-up reading/writing skills, and nominate the latter to replace Strunk and White.


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Books on Words, revisited

Postby Slava » Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:08 pm

Actually, Mark Bailey's post is what I was thinking of for the Have You Read..? suggestion.

As he noted, this idea was Books on Woids, i.e.:

Horsefeathers - Funk, Charles Earle & Charles Earle, Jr.

A wonderful romp through some 600 curious words and their origins.

I first read this book as a child, which is what I got for having a reference librarian and used book dealer for a mother, eh?

However, I loved every minute of it. It's entertaining, easy to read, and if you make a point of remembering what you've learned, a great way to be a know-it-all.

There are two others: "Thereby Hangs a Tale" and "Heavens to Betsy." If they're anything like "Horsefeathers," you'll be happy to have all three.



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Postby Ferrus » Mon May 28, 2007 1:14 pm

Steven Pinker's books are a good read for those interested in linguistics.
"Words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."
Lord Byron

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Postby Modi » Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:01 am

Shouldn't we consider that anybook even if it was literature as long as it contains a rich variety of vocabulary, old and new?
"Do you want to know hell, it's depths; hell is the company of the ignorant." My translation for a verse by Omar Al-Khayyam.

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