Synopses & Reviews
We often hear about the richness of the English language, how many more words it contains than French or German. And yet modern desk dictionaries are the result of a paring away of that glory, so that merely standard, functional, current words remain. The price we pay for such convenience is the thousands of delightful words we never see or hear.
This book is an effort to save some of those words applicable to everyday life and countless word games from extinction. The resultant treasure trove of exotic verbal creatures is an indispensable resource for every lover of language.
A selection: egrutten: having a face swollen from weeping numquid: an inquisitive person sardoodledum: drama that is contrived, stagy, or unrealistic mimp: to purse one's lips
"The next time you see some guy stagger out of a bar ready to take on the world, 'drunk and feeling brave,' you can dismiss him with a single word: potvaliant! That short, fat person nearby on the subway is fubsy, and his thickset companion is spuddy. The loudmouth a few seats away is bloviating, his babblative chatter little more than clatterfart. This can be addictive. . ." Jonathan Yardley
"Now that Grambs has introduced me to it, I plan to make good use of 'bloviation,' meaning talking windily, as in political candidates or sports commentators." Digby Diehl
"Like animals, plants and book reviewers, words can become extinct, but Grambs is here to salvage the most missed of the lexical dinosaurs."--Patricia Holt,
About the Author
David Grambs has worked as a dictionary definer for American Heritage and Random House, translator, encyclopedia writer, magazine copy editor, and travel-guide journalist. Among his books on words and language are The Describer's Dictionary, The Endangered English Dictionary and, with Ellen S. Levine, coauthor of So You Think You Can Spell?. He lives in New York City.