"If everybody's first English teacher were Roy Blount Jr., we might still be trillions in debt, but we would be so deeply in love with words and their magic . . . that we'd hardly notice." --Chris Tucker, The Dallas Morning News
After forty years of making a living using words in every medium except greeting cards, Roy Blount Jr. still can't get over his ABCs. In Alphabet Juice, he celebrates the juju, the crackle, the sonic and kinetic energies, of letters and their combinations. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, but he is not out to prescribe proper English. His passion is for questions such as these: Did you know that both mammal and matter derive from baby talk? Have you noticed how wince makes you wince?
Three and a half centuries ago, Thomas Blount produced his Glossographia, the first dictionary to explore derivations of English words. This Blount's Glossographia takes that pursuit to new levels. From sources as venerable as the OED and as fresh as Urbandictionary.com, 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.
"Amusing, bemusing, and smart as hell." --Daniel Okrent, Fortune
"Danced in Blount's arms, English swings smartly." --Jack Shafer, The New York Times Book Review
"Gracefully erudite and joyous." --Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Sunday Globe
How on Earth did we fix upon our twenty-six letters, what do they really mean, and how did we come to write them down in the first place? Michael Rosen takes you on an unforgettable adventure through the history of the alphabet in twenty-six vivid chapters, fizzing with personal anecdotes and fascinating facts. Starting with the mysterious Phoenicians and how sounds first came to be written down, he races on to show how nonsense poems work, pins down the strange story of OK, traces our five lost letters and tackles the tyranny of spelling, among many many other things. His heroes of the alphabet range from Edward Lear to Phyllis Pearsall (the inventor of the A-Z), and from the two scribes of Beowulf to rappers. Each chapter takes on a different subject - whether it's codes, umlauts or the writing of dictionaries. Rosen's enthusiasm for letters positively leaps off the page, whether it's the story of his life told through the typewriters he's owned or a chapter on jokes written in a string of gags and word games. This is the book for anyone who's ever wondered why Hawaiian only has a thirteen-letter alphabet or how exactly to write down the sound of a wild raspberry.
Fresh-squeezed Lexicology, with Twists
No man of letters savors the ABC's, or serves them up, like language-loving humorist Roy Blount Jr. His glossary, from ad hominy to zizz, is hearty, full bodied, and out to please discriminating palates coarse and fine. In 2008, he celebrated the gists, tangs, and energies of letters and their combinations in Alphabet Juice, to wide acclaim. Now, Alphabetter Juice. Which is better.
This book is for anyone--novice wordsmith, sensuous reader, or career grammarian--who loves to get physical with words. What is the universal sign of disgust, ew, doing in beautiful and cutie? Why is toadless, but not frogless, in the Oxford English Dictionary? How can the U. S. Supreme Court find relevance in gollywoddles? Might there be scientific evidence for the sonicky value of hunch? And why would someone not bother to spell correctly the very word he is trying to define on Urbandictionary.com?
Digging into how locutions evolve, and work, or fail, Blount draws upon everything from The Tempest to The Wire. He takes us to Iceland, for salmon-watching with a "girl gillie," and to Georgian England, where a distinguished etymologist bites off more of a "giantess" than he can chew. Jimmy Stewart appears, in connection with kludge and the bombing of Switzerland. Litigation over supercalifragilisticexpialidocious leads to a vintage werewolf movie; news of possum-tossing, to metanarrative.
As Michael Dirda wrote in The Washington Post Book World, "The immensely likeable Blount clearly possesses what was called in the Italian Renaissance 'sprezzatura, ' that rare and enviable ability to do even the most difficult things without breaking a sweat." Alphabetter Juice is brimming with sprezzatura. Have a taste.
- Contains 448 flash cards plus a 48-page index booklet.
- Learn 448 main words plus 1,792 related words and phrases--2,240 basic vocabulary items.
- Arabic script, romanized forms and English meanings are given for all items.
- A sample sentence in Arabic with its English translation shows how the main word is used.
Over the past quarter century, calligraphy and the lettering arts have enjoyed a renaissance all across America. As the century closes, it seems both appropriate and timely for Godine to join forces with the Society of Scribes (who will be marking their twenty-fifth anniversary) and the AIGA to assemble, exhibit, and illustrate the work of the calligraphers who have made major contributions to the field and whose work, in the opinion of their peers, is consistently outstanding. Here, then, is a book presenting a century of scribes, representing 140 examples of their best work, and displaying the taste, variety and vitality of the lettering arts in this country over the past century. The greats are all here, from Arnold Bank, John Howard Benson, and W. A. Dwiggins to Alexander Zanetti and Hermann Zapt (whose influence is so pervasive and whose American contacts so legion that it would have been criminal to omit him). Between are examples with 96 specimens illustrated in full color and 47 in black and white, of the very best this country has produced.
An expert recognized for his uncovering the hidden, and often secret meaning of words, Kevin Hall now shares his wisdom with us all. In Aspire he teaches readers to understand what words mean in their purest sense and unlock their importance as they develop a thoughtful new vocabulary.
As Stephen R. Covey so beautifully elucidates in his foreword, "this masterfully written book will help you understand that words have an inherent power, a force capable of lighting one′s paths and horizons. Used correctly and positively, words are the first building blocks for success and inner peace. Used incorrectly and negatively, they are capable of undermining even the best of intentions. This is true in business, in personal relationships, and every other walk of life."
By focusing on eleven words-one per chapter--Aspire shows how to use these words as building blocks for success and inner peace. The words, from the very familiar to the very unusual, will become touchstones in personal development and in business.
- Character writing practice sheets
- Dictation, fill-in-the-blank, and dialog completion exercises
- Answering questions, reading maps, converting written style to spoken style
- Identifying radicals and phonetics, punctuating sentences
- Writing tasks based on real-life schedules, photographs and name cards
- Translation exercises
- Audio recordings by native Mandarin speakers
- Hundreds of printable practice pages
- A printable set of 288 Chinese flashcards
Respected Chinese language educator Dr. Cornelius Kubler has taught Mandarin Chinese to diplomats, business people and students for several decades--using an effective learning system with two separate but integrated "tracks" to help you learn the spoken and written forms of the language more efficiently and more successfully. The materials in this series have been acclaimed as a breakthrough in Mandarin Chinese language learning. This book is a new edition of Basic Written Chinese: Practice Essentials. All disc content is alternatively accessible on tuttlepublishing.com/downloadable-content.
- Learn to read and write the 288 highest-frequency characters and over 700 words
- Designed to have you reading and writing simple, connected Chinese sentences quickly
- Both simplified and traditional characters are taught; you may choose to learn either or both
- Features a variety of fonts and styles--typeset and handwritten--preparing you to use Chinese characters in different contexts, from reading signs to texting on your phone