25 Books to Read Before You Die
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | August 18, 2014

Ian Leslie: IMG Empathic Curiosity



Today, we wonder anxiously if digital media is changing our brains. But if there's any time in history when our mental operations changed... Continue »
  1. $18.89 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$6.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton Anthropology- Linguistics
1 Local Warehouse Reference- Words on Words

Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips

by

Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips Cover

ISBN13: 9780374103699
ISBN10: 0374103690
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $6.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"This alphabetically arranged book reads like a big bag of salty snacks: nibble five or six of its 500-plus entries and you'll have to wolf the whole thing." New York Times

Review:

"[Y]ou can open Alphabet Juice to any page and find something offbeat, on the beat, subjective, hilarious, and/or insightful." Seattle Times

Review:

"A knowledgeable handbook that is also chock-full of funny, colorful opinions on marriage, movies, and Monet." Booklist

Review:

"Roy Blount is one of the most clever [see sly, witty, cunning, nimble] wordsmiths cavorting in the English language, or what remains of it. Alphabet Juice proves once again that he's incapable of writing a flat or unfunny sentence." Carl Hiassen, author of Nature Girl

Review:

"A few words about Alphabet Juice: Hilarious! Brilliant! Provocative! Okay, one more — Suaviloquent!" Daniel Klein, co-author of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar

Review:

"Alphabet Juice is the book Roy Blount was born to write, which considering his prodigious talent, is saying a lot. Did you know that the word LAUGH is linguistically related to chickens and pie? This is the book that any of us who urgently, passionately love words — to read them, roll them over the tongue and learn their life stories while laughing and eating chicken and pie — were lucky enough to be born to read." Cathy Schine, author of The New Yorkers

Review:

"A book that's as much fun to read backwards as forwards, Alphabet Juice is also a one-of-a-kind work of literature that will help you write better. It's like The Elements of Style, only updated and hilarious." Ian Frazier, author of Lamentations of the Father

Synopsis:

Alphabet Juice derives an organic take on language that is unlike, and more fun than, any other.

Synopsis:

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?

— Youtube.com
 
After forty years of making a living using words in every medium, print or electronic, except greeting cards, Roy Blount Jr. still cant get over his ABCs. In Alphabet Juice, he celebrates 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” and concentrates more on questions such as these: Did you know that both mammal and matter derive from baby talk? Have you noticed how wince makes you wince?

Three and a half centuries ago, Sir Thomas Blount produced Blounts Glossographia, the first dictionary to explore derivations of English words. This Blounts Glossographia takes that pursuit to other levels. 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 roots, 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 authors own wide-ranging experience, Alphabet Juice derives an organic take on language that is unlike, and more fun than, any other.

Synopsis:

“If everybodys first English teacher were Roy Blount Jr., we might still be trillions in debt, but we would be so deeply in love with words and their magic . . . that wed hardly notice.” —Chris Tucker, The Dallas Morning News
 
After forty years of making a living using words in every medium except greeting cards, Roy Blount Jr. still cant get over his ABCs. In Alphabet Juice, he celebrates the juju, the crackle, the sonic and kinetic energies, of letters and their combinations. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, but he is not out to prescribe proper English. His passion is for questions such as these: Did you know that both mammal and matter derive from baby talk? Have you noticed how wince makes you wince?
 
Three and a half centuries ago, Thomas Blount produced his Glossographia, the first dictionary to explore derivations of English words. This Blounts Glossographia takes that pursuit to new levels. From sources as venerable as the OED and as fresh as Urbandictionary.com, and especially from the authors own wide ranging experience, Alphabet Juice derives an organic take on language that is unlike, and more fun than, any other.
 
“Amusing, bemusing, and smart as hell.” —Daniel Okrent, Fortune
 
“Danced in Blounts arms, English swings smartly.” —Jack Shafer, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Gracefully erudite and joyous.” —Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Sunday Globe

About the Author

Roy Blount Jr. is the author of twenty previous books, covering subjects from the Pittsburgh Steelers to Robert E. Lee to what dogs are thinking. He is a regular panelist on NPR's Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! and is a member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel. Born in Indianapolis and raised in Decatur, Georgia, Blount now lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, painter Joan Griswold.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jraoul, February 4, 2009 (view all comments by jraoul)
What a truly glorious thing it must be to have Roy Blount's mind, because it's pretty darned glorious just to be witness to its workings. Most of Blount's stuff that I've read in the past has achieved an uncanny balancing act between reckless digressions and insightful sticking-to-the-point, and here he finally gives his digressive side full sway. The results are still informative and hilarious as always, but the ride is even more exhilirating.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(8 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374103699
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
Author:
Blount, Roy, Jr.
Author:
Blount Jr, Roy
Author:
Blount, Roy Jr.
Publisher:
Macmillan Audio
Subject:
English language
Subject:
Vocabulary
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Etymology
Subject:
Linguistics
Subject:
Linguistics - Etymology
Subject:
Linguistics - General
Subject:
General Language Arts & Disciplines
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20081014
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4 CDs/5 Hrs
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 x 1 in

Other books you might like

  1. Bloom's Major Short Story Writers... New Library $35.25
  2. Reading the OED: One Man, One Year,...
    Used Hardcover $6.50
  3. New American Roget's College... Used Mass Market $3.50
  4. The Elements of Style Used Trade Paper $9.00
  5. Merriam Websters Collegiate...
    Used Hardcover $15.95

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Linguistics
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
Reference » Etymology
Reference » Words on Words

Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374103699 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "This alphabetically arranged book reads like a big bag of salty snacks: nibble five or six of its 500-plus entries and you'll have to wolf the whole thing."
"Review" by , "[Y]ou can open Alphabet Juice to any page and find something offbeat, on the beat, subjective, hilarious, and/or insightful."
"Review" by , "A knowledgeable handbook that is also chock-full of funny, colorful opinions on marriage, movies, and Monet."
"Review" by , "Roy Blount is one of the most clever [see sly, witty, cunning, nimble] wordsmiths cavorting in the English language, or what remains of it. Alphabet Juice proves once again that he's incapable of writing a flat or unfunny sentence."
"Review" by , "A few words about Alphabet Juice: Hilarious! Brilliant! Provocative! Okay, one more — Suaviloquent!"
"Review" by , "Alphabet Juice is the book Roy Blount was born to write, which considering his prodigious talent, is saying a lot. Did you know that the word LAUGH is linguistically related to chickens and pie? This is the book that any of us who urgently, passionately love words — to read them, roll them over the tongue and learn their life stories while laughing and eating chicken and pie — were lucky enough to be born to read."
"Review" by , "A book that's as much fun to read backwards as forwards, Alphabet Juice is also a one-of-a-kind work of literature that will help you write better. It's like The Elements of Style, only updated and hilarious."
"Synopsis" by ,
Alphabet Juice derives an organic take on language that is unlike, and more fun than, any other.
"Synopsis" by ,

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?

— Youtube.com
 
After forty years of making a living using words in every medium, print or electronic, except greeting cards, Roy Blount Jr. still cant get over his ABCs. In Alphabet Juice, he celebrates 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” and concentrates more on questions such as these: Did you know that both mammal and matter derive from baby talk? Have you noticed how wince makes you wince?

Three and a half centuries ago, Sir Thomas Blount produced Blounts Glossographia, the first dictionary to explore derivations of English words. This Blounts Glossographia takes that pursuit to other levels. 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 roots, 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 authors own wide-ranging experience, Alphabet Juice derives an organic take on language that is unlike, and more fun than, any other.

"Synopsis" by ,
“If everybodys first English teacher were Roy Blount Jr., we might still be trillions in debt, but we would be so deeply in love with words and their magic . . . that wed hardly notice.” —Chris Tucker, The Dallas Morning News
 
After forty years of making a living using words in every medium except greeting cards, Roy Blount Jr. still cant get over his ABCs. In Alphabet Juice, he celebrates the juju, the crackle, the sonic and kinetic energies, of letters and their combinations. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, but he is not out to prescribe proper English. His passion is for questions such as these: Did you know that both mammal and matter derive from baby talk? Have you noticed how wince makes you wince?
 
Three and a half centuries ago, Thomas Blount produced his Glossographia, the first dictionary to explore derivations of English words. This Blounts Glossographia takes that pursuit to new levels. From sources as venerable as the OED and as fresh as Urbandictionary.com, and especially from the authors own wide ranging experience, Alphabet Juice derives an organic take on language that is unlike, and more fun than, any other.
 
“Amusing, bemusing, and smart as hell.” —Daniel Okrent, Fortune
 
“Danced in Blounts arms, English swings smartly.” —Jack Shafer, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Gracefully erudite and joyous.” —Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Sunday Globe
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.