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Word Perfect: Etymological Entertainment Every Day Hardcover – 28 Oct. 2021
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'Susie Dent is a national treasure' Richard Osman
'WORD PERFECT is a golden vaulted cave of fascinating and funny hidden gems' JO BRAND
Welcome to a year of wonder with Susie Dent, lexicographer, logophile, and longtime queen of Countdown's Dictionary Corner.
From the real Jack the Lad to the theatrically literal story behind stealing someone's thunder, from tartle (forgetting someone's name at the very moment you need it) to snaccident (the unintentional eating of an entire packet of biscuits), WORD PERFECT is a brilliant linguistic almanac full of unforgettable stories, fascinating facts, and surprising etymologies tied to every day of the year. You'll never be lost for words again.
Susie Dent is a national treasure ― RICHARD OSMAN
A golden vaulted cave of fascinating and funny hidden gems for people who love words, for people who aren't that bothered about words and people who don't even really like words...and that is the magic of Susie Dent. ― JO BRAND
Utterly addictive . . . unputdownable ― Daily Express
Stuffed with delightful words . . . it'll keep Scrabble fanatics and wordsmiths entertained for hours ― Radio Times
Entertaining ― Spectator
Packed full of fascinating facts -- Charlotte Heathcote ― Sunday Express
Magic -- Mark Mason ― Daily Mail
You can pick it up and be absorbed for hours ― The Press (York)
- Publisher : John Murray (28 Oct. 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1529371317
- ISBN-13 : 978-1529371314
- Dimensions : 14 x 3.8 x 22 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 3,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 October 2020
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Before I wrapped it I had a good look through and love the format as it is simply crammed with words. Some are appropriate to the season or even month where they are used but other are just random words. Most will be new to most people but there are lots that you will already know - and it is those that has descriptions that are the most absorbing as origins are often not what you think.
I love finding new words and some are intriguing such as ‘Choreomania’ which is the compulsion to dance. What’s more, is that every word not only has a definition but it also contains information about its origins and a factual story about something related to it. In this case, in 1374 in the town of Aachen, Germany it is recorded that the citizens congregated en masse and began to dance uncontrollably.
This is a book that will fill those who love to learn and gain knowledge with giddy excitement. 365 words, their origins, meanings, and factual information contained in one book written in an easy-to-understand style, and with the diary format you could choose to learn one new word a day. Although I’m not quite accurate in saying just one word a day or 365 words as each word often has others contained within the information that is related to the given word, so in fact, you are getting a lot more than you would expect.
I enjoyed learning about the words. Whether they will stay in my head and I remember to use them as and when the time arises is a different matter. The book is very British and there will be words that those around the world will never have heard of. There are also some that British people will never have heard of because they are regional words never heard outside of their city of origin or mean something different in different parts of the country.
Overall, this is a book for those who love etymology and want to broaden their range.
With 'entymological entertainment for every day of the year', I now have the basis for a weekly feature for the next seven years and more, given that each listing includes variations on the main word of the day.
My favourite so far? Included in the entry for 19 November - CIRCUMBENDIBUS!!