Three and a half centuries ago, Sir Thomas Blount produced Blount's Glossographia, the first dictionary to explore derivations of English words. This Blount's Glossographia takes that pursuit to other levels. It rejects the standard linguistic notion that the connection between words and their meanings is "arbitrary." Even the word arbitrary is shown to be no more arbitrary, at its roots, than go-to guy or crackerjack. From sources as venerable as the OED (in which Blount finds an inconsistency, at whisk) and as fresh as Urbandictionary.com (to which Blount has contributed the number-one definition of "alligator arm"), and especially from the author's own wide-ranging experience, Alphabet Juice derives an organic take on language that is unlike, and more fun than, any other.
I think Roy Blount Jr. is a marvelous commentator and comic, but this book just does not work in audio format. Imagine someone reading Bartlett's Quotations to you--even if you might have enjoyed a few quotations, it would quickly grow pretty tedious no matter how skilled the reader. In print, this is the sort of book you might enjoy a few pages at a time before falling asleep or waiting for the kettle to boil. Or to put it a bit more crudely, it's the perfect bathroom book.
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