- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
This item may be
Check for Availability
This title in other editions
The Life of Language: The Fascinating Ways Words Are Born, Live & Dieby Sol Steinmetz
Synopses & Reviews
If time travelers from the nineteenth century dropped in on us, our strange vocabulary would shock them just as much as our TVs, cars, and computers. Society changes, and so does its word stock. The Life of Language reveals how pop culture, business, technology, and other forces of globalization expand and enrich the English language, forming thousands of new words every year. In this fascinating and jargon-free guide, lexicographers Kipfer and Steinmetz reconstruct the births of thousands of words, including infantries, poz, mobs, Soho, dinks, choo choos, frankenfoods, LOL, narcs and perps.
A word lover’s guide to etymology, written in a fun, informal, and accessible style
An excellent resource for vocabulary building; a word's root helps readers understand its meaning
Beautifully packaged paperback with French flaps
Provides a close-up look at how popular culture, technology, business, globalization, and other forces transform and enrich the English language by forming thousands of new words every year and details the etymologies of a variety of words including infantries, frankenfoods, dinks, perps, and more. Original. 15,000 first printing.
About the Author
\Barbara Ann Kipfer is a lexicographer, archaeologist, and the author of more than 25 books, including How it Happens, 4,000 Questions for Getting to Know Anyone and Everyone, 14,000 Things to Be Happy About, and The Order of Things.
Sol Steinmetz is a well-known lexicographer and former editor–in–chief at Random House Reference.
Table of Contents
It's all about words — New root formation: the birth of words — Modification: how words grow and thrive — Semantic change: the split personalities of words — Generation: many ways of growing words — Borrowing: adopting words from foreign places — Conclusion.
What Our Readers Are Saying