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In which the Words are Deduced from Their Originals, and Illustrated in Their Different Significations by Examples from the Best Writers. To which are Prefixed a History of the Language, and an English Grammar
A Treasure Chest of Remarkable Words and Their Origins
Author: Phil Cousineau
Publisher: Cleis Press
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
WORDCATCHER Phil Cousineau illuminates the history and mystery of weird and wonderful word storiesTo untangle the knot of interlocking meanings of these painted words, logophile and mythologist Phil Cousineau begins each fascinating word entry with his own brief definition. He then fills it in with a tint of etymology and a smattering of quotes that show how the word is used, ending with a list of companion words. The words themselves range from commonplace - like biscuit, a twice-baked cake for Roman soldiers - to loanwords including chaparral, from the Basque shepherds who came to the American West; words from myths, such as hector; metamorphosis words, like silly, which evolved holy to goofy in a mere thousand years; and words well worthy of revival, such as carrytale, a wandering storyteller. Whether old-fangled or brand new, all the words included in The Painted Word possess an ineffable quality that makes them luminous.
An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words
Author: Phil Cousineau
Publisher: Cleis Press
The English poet W.H. Auden was once asked to teach a poetry class. 200 students applied, but he only had space for 20. When asked how he chose his students, he said he picked only those who truly loved words. Wordcatcher is a book for just such people: people who are fascinated by words, their origins, history and meaning. Who would ever have thought the country of Canada was named after a mistake? Or that all the adventures of Ancient Greek sailors rest on the word 'nostalgia'? Cousineau's delightful and fascinating book is the perfect gift for anyone with a love of words.
'The greatest enterprise of its kind in history,' was the verdict of British prime minister Stanley Baldwin in June 1928 when The Oxford English Dictionary was finally published. With its 15,490 pages and nearly two million quotations, it was indeed a monumental achievement, gleaned from the efforts of hundreds of ordinary and extraordinary people who made it their mission to catalogue the English language in its entirety. In The Meaning of Everything, Simon Winchester celebrates this remarkable feat, and the fascinating characters who played such a vital part in its execution, from the colourful Frederick Furnivall, cheerful promoter of an all-female sculling crew, to James Murray, self-educated son of a draper, who spent half a century guiding the project towards fruition. Along the way we learn which dictionary editor became the inspiration for Kenneth Grahame's Ratty in The Wind in the Willows, and why Tolkien found it so hard to define 'walrus'. Written by the bestselling author of The Surgeon of Crowthorne and The Map That Changed the World, The Meaning of Everything is an enthralling account of the creation of the world's greatest dictionary.
The oldest word in politics is “new”. The oldest word in the writing of history may well be “modern”: it is, without doubt, one of the most overworked adjectives in the English language. But the indeterminacy is perhaps just another way of saying that the difficulties raised are of a kind which simply will not go away… This collection of eight essays on aspects of modernity and modernism takes up the challenge of examining the complex, but fascinating convergence of aesthetics, politics and a quasi-spiritual dimension which is perhaps typical of British modernist thinking about modernity. This may have produced figures whom we now dismiss as eccentrics or “aesthetes”, it none the less produced figures whom many still think of as in some sense embodying the national identity: what, after all, could be more “English” than a William Morris wallpaper design? Rather than towards socialism in any of its “scientific” guises, what the British modernist approach to modernity may have been pushing at was yet another mutation of liberalism: a libertarian-humanitarian hybrid in which indigenous radical and Evangelical legacies keep scientific socialism in check, where fellowship and domesticity edge out a larger-scale, more abstract “fraternity”, and where citoyenneté or civisme give way to what George Orwell was later to define simply as “decency”.