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The Disheveled Dictionary: A Curious Caper Through Our Sumptuous Lexiconby Karen Elizab Gordon
Synopses & Reviews
"What on earth does lagniappe mean? A sluggard who lies around till noon? A she-wolf of Anapurna? A car that demands heavy pampering?" In fact, none of the above. But one can find this Creole French word delectably defined in THE DISHEVELED DICTIONARY, which does for vocabulary what Gordon's cult classic THE WELL-TEMPERED SENTENCE did for punctuation and THE TRANSITIVE VAMPIRE did for grammar. THE DISHEVELED DICTIONARY takes a voluptuary's approach to language, offering a lavish feast of words and their multiple uses. Favorite characters from Gordon's earlier books appear in cameo, including Yolanta, Jonquil Mapp, cowboys with lingerie, and assorted royal riffraff. With her trademark cache of illustrations and flamboyantly gothic examples, Gordon takes readers on a hedonist's tour of the world of words, where they can check into the Last Judgment Pinball Machine Motel, slip into susurrant silk pajamas at Cafe Frangipane, or plunge into scenes from such literary works as Torpor in the Swing,The Wretch of Lugubria, and Gossamer and the Green Light. Laced with erudite insights and eccentric wit, THE DISHEVELED DICTIONARY is about the music of speech and the sound and sensuality of language, celebrating not only the obsure but also our most beloved and basic words.
With her signature cache of illustrations and flamboyantly gothic examples, Karen Elizabeth Gordon, "who has achieved cult status with her whimsical references, defines an array of daffy, delicious words" (Library Journal). In The Disheveled Dictionary Gordon conjures a world of words, their definitions and myriad uses, and along the way invokes favorite characters from earlier books. Gordon's eccentric wit and unique insights take readers on a delightful romp through the dictionary that will expand their vocabularies and exhilarate their minds. Along the way she celebrates not only the obscure but also our most beloved and basic words. The Disheveled Dictionary is a treat for anyone who loves language — its sound, its sensuality, its ability to surprise and delight.
The Disheveled Dictionary takes a voluptuary's approach to language, carousing in a wanton world of words and their multiple and mischievous uses. Favorite characters from earlier books appear in cameo, including Yolanta, Jonquil Mapp, cowboys with lingerie, and assorted royal riffraff, who join in adumbration with the Grim Reaper, a reluctant baba, the contralto Constanza Zermattress, and other inspired creations.
About the Author
Karen Elizabeth Gordon is the author of the classic and comic reference books The Deluxe Transitive Vampire, The New Well-Tempered Sentence, and Torn Wings and Faux Pas. Her wanderlusting fiction includes The Ravenous Muse, The Red Shoes and Other Tattered Tales, and Paris Out of Hand. She lives in Berkeley, California and Paris.
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