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25 Remote Warehouse Reference- Etymology

What in the Word?

by

What in the Word? Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Are you so sure about the plural of "octopus" or the difference between "i.e." and "e.g."? Do you know which word in the English language has the most definitions, or who put the H in Jesus H. Christ?

If you don't, be assured that Charles Harrington Elster does, and he tells all in this entertaining collection of the most interesting conundrums in our language. Using esoteric sources and his own inimitable expertise, Elster covers a variety of topics including word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Every chapter features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia, so be prepared to play while you read.

"Delightfully funny and informative. Every page is filled with amazing and amusing facts about our quirky language. The Wordbook of the Year!"--Sol Steinmetz, coauthor of Meshuggenary: Celebrating the World of Yiddish

"This book is at once authoritative and lively. Elster knows how to have fun."--Bryan A. Garner, author of Garner's Modern American Usage

"A cornucopia of linguistic fun. Fill your horn!"--Anu Garg, creator of wordsmith.org

Charles Harrington Elster is a writer, broadcaster, and logophile--a lover of words. He is the author of several books and has been a guest columnist on language for the Boston Globe and the New York Times Magazine. He lives in San Diego.

Synopsis:

Drawing upon esoteric sources and his own expertise, Elster uses a Q&A format to cover a variety of topics--word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Every chapter features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia.

Synopsis:

Are you so sure about "assure," "ensure," and "insure" ? Can you determine whether a knob of butter is equivalent to a lump or a pat or a scosh? Can you say which word in the English language has the most definitions, or who put the H in Jesus H. Christ?

If you can't, be assured that Charles Harrington Elster, author of several well-loved works on language, can-and does in his latest book, a delightfully designed compendium of the most common, interesting, and entertaining conundrums in our language. Drawing upon esoteric sources and his own inimitable expertise, Elster uses a lively question-and-answer format to cover a variety of topics-word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Every chapter features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia.

About the Author

CHARLES HARRINGTON ELSTER is a writer, broadcaster, and logophile-a lover of words. He is the author of several books, including The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations, Verbal Advantage, and There's a Word for It. He is also a guest contributor to the "On Language" column of the New York Times Magazine. He lives in San Diego.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

INTRODUCTION

ONE ONCE UPON A WORD

Word histories, mysteries, hoaxes, and hype: sorting the tall tales from the truth

TWO A Slough of Solecisms

Wherein the author leads you safely out of a morass of mistakes and misperceptions into the clear, comforting light of correct English

THREE The Grandiloquent Gumshoe

Words recovered, discovered, and devised

FOUR The Elegance of Style

Distinctions, clarifications, niceties, and other little things that make your language more polished and precise

FIVE A Civil Tongue

Wherein the author launders your pronunciation and presses you to speak with propriety and poise

SIX Born in the USA

Some quintessentially American words and expressions, from okay to humongous, with some other American stuff thrown in just for fun

SEVEN The wonder of words

A fascinating farrago of word lore and wordplay that just didn't fit anywhere else

ANSWERS TO THE BODACIOUS BRAINTEASERS

SOURCES CITED

INDEX

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156031974
Manufactured:
Harcourt
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
Author:
Elster, Charles Harrington
Subject:
Reference
Subject:
Grammar
Subject:
English language
Subject:
Semantics
Subject:
Etymology
Subject:
Americanisms
Subject:
English language -- Etymology.
Subject:
Linguistics - Etymology
Subject:
Reference-Etymology
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Harvest Original
Publication Date:
20051131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.61 lb

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Related Subjects


Reference » Etymology
Reference » Words on Words

What in the Word? New Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Harcourt - English 9780156031974 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Drawing upon esoteric sources and his own expertise, Elster uses a Q&A format to cover a variety of topics--word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Every chapter features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia.

"Synopsis" by ,
Are you so sure about "assure," "ensure," and "insure" ? Can you determine whether a knob of butter is equivalent to a lump or a pat or a scosh? Can you say which word in the English language has the most definitions, or who put the H in Jesus H. Christ?

If you can't, be assured that Charles Harrington Elster, author of several well-loved works on language, can-and does in his latest book, a delightfully designed compendium of the most common, interesting, and entertaining conundrums in our language. Drawing upon esoteric sources and his own inimitable expertise, Elster uses a lively question-and-answer format to cover a variety of topics-word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Every chapter features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia.

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