Do you have strong feelings about the word “irregardless”? Have you ever tried to define the word “is”? Brimming with intelligence and personality, this vastly entertaining account of how dictionaries are made is a must-read for word mavens. Many of us take dictionaries for granted, and few may realize that the process of writing dictionaries is, in fact, as lively and dynamic as language itself. With sharp wit and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography, from the agonizing decisions about what to define and how to do it, to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language. She explains why small words are the most difficult to define, how it can take nine months to define a single word, and how our biases about language and pronunciation can have tremendous social influence. And along the way, she reveals little-known surprises—for example, the fact that “OMG” was first used in a letter to Winston Churchill in 1917. Word by Word brings to life the hallowed halls (and highly idiosyncratic cubicles) of Merriam-Webster, a startlingly rich world inhabited by quirky and erudite individuals who quietly shape the way we communicate. Certain to be a delight for all lovers of words, Stamper’s debut will make you laugh as much as it makes you appreciate the wonderful complexities and eccentricities of the English language.
Author: Christopher Hager
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2013-02-14
Genre: Literary Criticism
Consigned to illiteracy, American slaves left little record of their thoughts and feelings—or so we have believed. But a few learned to use pen and paper to make sense of their experiences, despite prohibitions. These authors’ perspectives rewrite the history of emancipation and force us to rethink the relationship between literacy and freedom.
Author: David Crystal
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Words, Words, Words is all about the wonder of words. Drawing on a lifetime's experience, David Crystal explores language in all its rich varieties through words: the very building blocks of our communication. Language has no life of its own: it only exists in the mouths and ears, hands, eyes and brains of its users. As we are guided expertly and passionately through the mysteries and delights of word origins, histories, spellings, regional and social variations, taboo words, jargon,and wordplay, the contribution we all play in shaping the linguistic world around us becomes evident. Words, Words, Words is a celebration of what we say and how we say it. It invites us to engage linguistically with who we are: to understand what words tell us about where we come from and what we do. And as they continually shape our lives, it suggests ways that we can look at words anew and get involved with collecting and coining words ourselves.
Author: Ben Blatt
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-03-14
What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? How can we judge a book by its cover? Data meets literature in this playful and informative look at our favorite authors and their masterpieces. “A literary detective story: fast-paced, thought-provoking, and intriguing.” —Brian Christian, coauthor of Algorithms to Live By There’s a famous piece of writing advice—offered by Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and myriad writers in between—not to use -ly adverbs like “quickly” or “fitfully.” It sounds like solid advice, but can we actually test it? If we were to count all the -ly adverbs these authors used in their careers, do they follow their own advice compared to other celebrated authors? What’s more, do great books in general—the classics and the bestsellers—share this trait? In Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve, statistician and journalist Ben Blatt brings big data to the literary canon, exploring the wealth of fun findings that remain hidden in the works of the world’s greatest writers. He assembles a database of thousands of books and hundreds of millions of words, and starts asking the questions that have intrigued curious word nerds and book lovers for generations: What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Do men and women write differently? Are bestsellers getting dumber over time? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? What makes a great opening sentence? How can we judge a book by its cover? And which writerly advice is worth following or ignoring? Blatt draws upon existing analysis techniques and invents some of his own. All of his investigations and experiments are original, conducted himself, and no math knowledge is needed to understand the results. Blatt breaks his findings down into lucid, humorous language and clear and compelling visuals. This eye-opening book will provide you with a new appreciation for your favorite authors and a fresh perspective on your own writing, illuminating both the patterns that hold great prose together and the brilliant flourishes that make it unforgettable.
Author: Nicholas Ostler
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2011-03-22
Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions to the engaging self-regard of Greek and to the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe, these epic achievements and more are brilliantly explored, as are the fascinating failures of once "universal" languages. A splendid, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises.
Author: Denise J. Hughes
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Release Date: 2016-09-01
Holy Guidance... Handwritten on Your Heart The book of Philippians calls you to see beyond your present circumstances and discover the authentic joy awaiting you in Christ. Get ready to explore this uplifting book through the tried-and-tested inductive study method--with an added writing step to help you treasure each word! In this exciting Bible study (complete with devotions, questions, and blank pages in the back), you will... READ--Find out what these verses say. REFLECT--Discover what these verses mean. RESPOND--Apply these verses to your everyday life. WRITE--Rewrite these verses to better remember them. As you dive into Philippians you will learn what God's Word says about walking in humility and claiming your eternal hope. * * * The Word Writers series helps you experience Scripture in a deeper way--on your own or with a group--through studying and writing verses word by word.
Author: Hanif Kureishi
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-03-10
"Mamoon Azam is an eminent Indian-born writer who has made a career in England--but now, in his early seventies, his reputation is fading, his book sales are nonexistent, and his flamboyant second wife's expensive habits are bleeding him dry. In an attempt to revitalize his career and reputation, Mamoon's publisher commissions Harry, an ambitious young writer, to pen the famous writer's biography. Honored and slightly intimidated, Harry promises himself that he will present an unbiased look at his literary hero--but Mamoon's publisher is after a more naked truth, a salacious tale of the author's life that will generate headlines. Meanwhile, Mamoon is less than cooperative. Vain, breathtakingly cynical, and cruelly manipulative, Mamoon turns out to have ahidden agenda of his own. Harry and Mamoon find themselves in a battle of wills, but which of them will have the last word? The ensuing struggle for dominance raises questions of love and desire, loyalty and betrayal, and the frailties of age versus the recklessness of youth. A poignant and brilliantly entertaining book, THE LAST WORD is a tale of youthful exuberance, as hilarious as it is moving, and is Kureishi's most important work to date"--
Author: Kenton L. Sparks
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Release Date: 2012-04-04
The Bible is a religious masterpiece. Its authors cast a profound vision for the healing of humanity through the power of divine love, grace and forgiveness. But the Bible also contains "dark texts" that challenge our ethical imagination. How can one book teach us to love our enemies and also teach us to slaughter Canaanites? Why does a book that preaches the equality of all people -- male and female, slave and free, Greek and Jew -- also include laws that permit God's people to trade in slaves and to persecute those of a different faiths or ethnicities? In Sacred Word, Broken Word Kenton Sparks argues that the "dark side" of Scripture is not an illusion. Rather, these dark texts remind us that all human beings, including the biblical authors, stand in need of God's redemptive solution in Jesus Christ.
Author: Jim Tobin
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company (BYR)
Release Date: 2013-08-20
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Michael loves interesting words (hard words like ELASTIC, little words like VAST, and big words like SMITHEREENS) and is always on the lookout for words to collect. Then one day, he picks up a new word. A bad word. An inappropriate word. At least, that's what his friend says. But Michael kind of likes the word. He thinks he might try it out. At school. Bad idea.
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2013-05-07
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Lizzie wasn’t the first student at Verity High School to kill herself this year. But the difference is, she didn’t go quietly. Lizzie’s reputation is destroyed when she’s caught in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend on prom night. With the whole school turned against her, and Angie not speaking to her, she takes her own life. But someone isn’t letting her go quietly. As graffiti and photocopies of Lizzie’s diary plaster the school, Angie begins a relentless investigation into who, exactly, made Lizzie feel she didn’t deserve to keep living. And while she claims she simply wants to punish Lizzie’s tormentors, Angie’s own anguish over abandoning her best friend will drive her deep into the dark, twisted side of Verity High—and she might not be able to pull herself back out.