By Roy Blount Jr.
Fresh-squeezed Lexicology, with Twists
No guy of letters savors the ABC's, or serves them up, like language-loving slapstick comedian Roy Blount Jr. His thesaurus, from ad hominy to zizz, is hearty, complete bodied, and out to thrill discriminating palates coarse and tremendous. In 2008, he celebrated the gists, tangs, and energies of letters and their mixtures in Alphabet Juice, to large acclaim. Now, Alphabetter Juice. that's better.
This booklet is for anyone—novice wordsmith, sensuous reader, or profession grammarian—who likes to get actual with phrases. what's the common signal of disgust, ew, doing in beautiful and cutie? Why is toadless, yet no longer frogless, within the Oxford English Dictionary? How can the U. S. ideally suited court docket locate relevance in gollywoddles? may there be clinical proof for the sonicky worth of hunch? And why could anyone no longer hassle to spell competently the very be aware he's attempting to outline on Urbandictionary.com?
Digging into how locutions evolve, and paintings, or fail, Blount attracts upon every little thing from The Tempest to The Wire. he's taking us to Iceland, for salmon-watching with a "girl gillie," and to Georgian England, the place a unusual etymologist bites off extra of a "giantess" than he can bite. Jimmy Stewart looks, in reference to kludge and the bombing of Switzerland. Litigation over supercalifragilisticexpialidocious leads to a classic werewolf motion picture; information of possum-tossing, to metanarrative.
As Michael Dirda wrote in The Washington submit ebook World, "The immensely likeable Blount truly possesses what used to be referred to as within the Italian Renaissance 'sprezzatura,' that infrequent and enviable skill to do even the main tough issues with no breaking a sweat." Alphabetter Juice is brimming with sprezzatura. Have a style.
Read Online or Download Alphabetter Juice: or, The Joy of Text PDF
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Additional info for Alphabetter Juice: or, The Joy of Text
1 He thought that writing compared disadvantageously with speech, because it gave a specious permanence to words. This is a contention which does not make sense unless addressed to a society already well into the stage of utilitarian literacy, where one of the great advantages of this surrogate form is seen as being, precisely, that it gives words a permanency — or at least a durability, a verifiability — that the human voice does not afford. Plato's objection to writing, in short, is not theological or metaphysical or pragmatic but semiological.
One wonders whether the apparent afterthought is not in reality the source of the whole Aristotelian schema. (Otherwise, why mention writing at all? e. 'symbolic') relationship in two apparently quite different cases, and also (ii) why the two sets of symbols in question (spoken and written) are nevertheless treated separately, even though both are used in the service of linguistic communication in one and the same society. In the case of (i) what matters is that changing alphabets is seen as a paradigmatic case of the independence of form from meaning when the semiological relationship is based on complementarity, not on likeness.
P. 115. Structuralism in the Scriptorium 45 double use of the biological metaphor is a deliberate repetition, not a stylistic blemish. This reference to a life within a life is a way of insisting on the symbiotic relation between signs and society. For Saussure, semiology is not a science of signs in abstracto. It proposes neither a general philosophy of signs nor a logic of their relations but, quite specifically, a study of their mode of existence in society. It excludes, in other words, signs which have no publicly recognized signification.
Alphabetter Juice: or, The Joy of Text by Roy Blount Jr.