#FREE BOOK ⚤ Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, ... With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory Ì eBook or E-pub free

This review refers to the Audiobook version of Alphabet Juice If you have the opportunity I highly suggest giving the audio book version a listen I was a little dubious at first, books about language don t necessarily do very well in audio format, but I m SO glad I gave it a try Mr Blount s joy and zest for language really comes alive as he reads his book It s a sheer delight to listen to Alphabet Juice is a superbly apt name for this book it s not often that you find something that delights in the taste of words the way this does, the way they feel in your mouth, the way they roll off the tongue.Of course now I want to buy a hardcopy too, just so I can go back and find some of the really delicious turns of phrase he uses and savor them again. For anyone who seriously enjoys using words, this is a marvelous book A collection of mini essays about words and phrases that have struck Blount s fancy If there s a serious point to the book, it s one that I m whole heartedly in favor of A language loses something when its speakers cease to care about what they write and say We should encourage and celebrate sprachgefuhl imagine an umlaut above the u , a feeling for language, the mot juste, an ear for idiom.Some representative examples pulled, mostly at random, from the text In the entry for giblet The main thing I want to contribute with regard to giblets is a personal example of what is known as back formation My mother, who fried chicken giblets whole but cut turkey giblets up to make giblet gravy, used the verb to gibble, always with up, as in Our best snack when I was a girl was to gibble up some cornbread in a glass of cold buttermilk, or Now just look you ve gibbled up that Styrofoam all over the floor p 113 Or the entry for portmanteau again harking back to his mother My mother used a vivid one squirmle, combination of squirm and wiggle, I assume She would say to a small child she was trying to wash the ears of, Don t squirmle so much p 235 Surrealism is easy, comedy s Herb p 285 Piss And then it occurs to me that a bladder being voided doesn t make a sound like piss, unless it s onto a hot rock Still, Hendrickson is right piss, unlike the abstract urinate, does somehow evoke pissing p 231 Seethe From the Old English seothan The seething point of the boiling of wateris just before the bubbles start to form Listen note quite audible, maybe, but if you could combine into one sound the sounds s, ee, and the, isn t that what just about to boil water would at least subliminally sound like p 264 On occasion Blount can be a curmudgeon He doesn t like the use of reference as a verb, though verbalizing nouns enjoys a long history in English and I think this one works I ll admit his counter examples are appropriately hideous I beg to difference you, among others I also couldn t agree that using the third person, plural pronoun when referring to mixed gender or singular subjects is wrong.Aside from that, lovers of language linguiphiles linquivores I like the latter devourers of language should enjoy the book. #FREE BOOK Â Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, ... With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory Ï Ali G How Many Words Does You Know Noam Chomsky Normally, Humans, By Maturity, Have Tens Of Thousands Of ThemAli G What Is Some Of Em Da Ali G ShowDid You Know That Both Mammal And Matter Derive From Baby Talk Have You Noticed How Wince Makes You Wince Ever Wonder Why So Many H Words Have To Do With Breath Roy Blount Jr Certainly Has, And After Forty Years Of Making A Living Using Words In Every Medium, Print Or Electronic, Except Greeting Cards, He Still Can T Get Over His ABCs In Alphabet Juice, He Celebrates The Electricity, The Juju, The Sonic And Kinetic Energies, Of Letters And Their Combinations Blount Does Not Prescribe Proper English The Franchise He Claims Is Over The Counter Three And A Half Centuries Ago, 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, From Proto Indo European Roots To Your Epiglottis 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 Arbitrary, At Its Root, 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 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 Fun Than, Any Other I don t know who Roy Blount Jr is, but he obviously thinks a lot of himself Apparently his publisher does too, considering the incredible leeway he was given over the content in this book He rants on politics, he covers language usage and vocal anatomy, there were arcane sports references and random poetry Altogether, this book left me with a headache, which is saying something for an avowed lexophile In fact, I would never have kept reading it if not for the truly interesting etymological tidbits, hidden like gold nuggets among the silt that made up the majority of this book I realize I m being harsh to poor Roy, but lest you think I m exaggerating, I will list my specific complaints along with examples.1 The language At first blush, I found the title of this book charming and intriguing Until I started in and realized the whole book reads that way An example from the introduction I have written some of the clumsiest, most clogged yet vagrant, hobbledehoyish, hitch slipping sentences ever conceived by the human mind Well, at least he s honest about it I had to go back so many times and re read a paragraph to see if there was some sense I had missed that I think I actually read this book twice 2 To be specific, this book is the perfect example of recursion, a word Blount elaborates on in his book It is the act of putting a parenthetical phrase inside a paranthetical phrase inside a parenthetical phrase for paragraphs on end until you have no idea where you started Blount delights in this writing style, which is just abusive to his readers.3 Sometimes I seriously had no idea what he was talking about An example if you can decipher this, you re a better reader than I Theme This pudding has no theme, Winston Churchill is said to have said about an over elaborate dessert Noted But even worse is a theme with no pudding Or a theme giving rise to or imposed upon a pudding that doesn t fit For instance an Operation Shock and Awe that provokes prolonged defiance And if you think I m leaving out context that would aid in understanding, you re wrong That s the whole entry.4 This book was such an exercise in vanity Blount is forever quoting himself from other sources, and name dropping authors he s freinds with, and talking about his tv appearances and radio interviews and blah, blah, blah Which might be interesting if he were an honest to goodness celebrity, butfrom what I can tell, he s just an old guy who wrote some books.5 If you follow professional sports, especially players from the 60s to the 90s, this book might hold some appeal for you If not, you will be wading through a lot of useless sports references and jargon.6 All good writers keep a notebook or file with their ideas, phrases, and starts which might find a place somewhere, or spark a useful idea later on No good writer throws all of these bits, in their incomplete form, into a book like this one just to see them in print.7 One quote from this book sums up this bullet point I found this on the Internet It was like Blount just recently discovered Google, and couldn t wait to share his random search results with the world The contributors to urbandictionary.com deserve some serious royalties, considering the site was quoted about every other page Please forgive my lambasting, but I have no one else to complain to about all the annoying habits of this author I know, I know, I should have just stopped reading if it was bugging me so badly, but like I said, there were a few aspects of the book that, if not entirely redeeming, at least made the rest forgivable So, in the interest of fairness, here are some of the good points 1 As the title promises, the secret parts of words were revealed I loved this quote about etymology From the Greek for the true sense of a word That goes back to when roots showed through a lot than they do today But just as you appreciate a vegetable if you know how it grows, you have a better hold on a word if you use it in acknowledgment of its roots, its background, some of the soil still attached 2 Ironically, Blount provided some good advice for writers.3 He sets at right some of his pet peeves regarding misuse of language These notes were a good refresher course for me.4 Blount is a big proponent of not diluting words like awesome and incredible yes, I used it that way at the beggining to spite him In general, I agree with this I prefer to use words, especially adjectives, with their fully intended force, and it s frustrating when your readers don t take them that way because they ve become too common.So there you go, a review that if not balanced was at least cathartic Thanks for indulging meand don t read this book. This is a book about words the subtitle sums it up very nicely Roy Blount Jr is one of my favorite panelists on Wait Wait, Don t Tell Me, so I thought I d try out one of his books I liked this book because I really like words Not just reading them, but saying them and learning about them If you are not interested in reading this book, I offer three highlights tmesis inserting a word into another word for an intensifying effect Example from my life Tyler was trying to come up with a mnemonic which word is also treated by RBJ for the first three letters of our new license plate, AFZ What he came up with Ari frickin zona RBJ points out that, ironically enough, the word tmesis looks like it should have something stuck in the middle of it, an apostrophe t mesis or some vowels tamesis.level the most even word in the English language Just look at it portmanteau a British term for a suitcase that opens out into two halves Portmanteau words are inspired combinations such as guestimate from guess and estimate Personally I find this delicious and I can see in my minds eye guess and estimate as the two sides of a suitcase getting closed up into guestimate.The cons of this book are as follows 1 It was kind of long for what it was, 364 pages about words 2 RBJ is sort of rambly and I often found it hard to follow where he was going 3 There are all sorts of references to movies that were made 50 years before I was born and actresses and other famous people that I ve never heard of, so I didn t get a lot of the jokes, I guess you could call them puns, humor This is the third book I ve read that was organized into 26 alphabetical chapters and it blows Reading the OED One Man One Year 21 730 Pages out of the water, but does nothing to touch The Know It All One Man s Humble Quest To Become The Smartest Person In The World So, if you re going to read one book like this, read that one If you are going to read two, read that one, and then this one. LOVE a few highlights, below 1 Did you know that Hells Angels refer to themselves as AJ because it sounds so much like HA 9 2 I thought I had found a flaw in AHD, where it says abracadabra originally was a magic word, the letters of which were arranged in an inverted pyramid visual representation of how this works Am I relieved that this book didn t turn, just now, into a flock of pigeons 13 14 3 We got where we were supposed to He was good at what he did But I hadn t realized that anybody s dyslexia extended as far as pie 138 4 Aristotle maintained that a falling body accelerated because it became jubilant as it found itself nearer home 227 5 Many a poet these days will call pucker and pocket a rhyme Will in fact prefer that kind of rhyme to skillet and chill it Me, I m just a versifier, but pucker and pocket put me off Skillet and chill it get me to thinking I bring them together just because of the sound, but then it hits me that they both relate to heat If you re going to tell me to Chill, itWould help if you d put down that skillet 255 Life is too short to slog through all the folksy anecdotes and sports reminiscences and stream of consciousness ponderings to get to the nuggets of interesting history and etymology Maybe someday I ll come back and pick at a word here and therebut I doubt it. This book most likely isn t for everyone, in particular those who are already snoring at the mention of a book about the origins, moods, and usage of words But, for those who fret over getting the most out of language, written and spoken, when they use it, and who see it as a tool and a thing of beauty, this is a great find.Blount s book is written in entry form, with a section devoted to each letter of the English alphabet, complete with an introductory entry for each letter This keeps the book from dragging, and allows the author to meander just a little while still operating within the boundaries of certain themes Also, Blount is very, very funny.My only real complaint to register is with his f word entry, in which he claims that use of the word in office environments has come to be viewed as inappropriate because of the complaining of feminists The same feminists, says Blount, that disparage the use of the phrase pussy whipped Woah there, Roy The phrase pussy whipped is loaded with misogyny, while the f word is not I seriously doubt that some feminist front ganged up on that particular obscenity and ruined it for everyone I have been accused and guilty of being an uptight feminist, but that word doesn t contain any sort of inherent offense for me Maybe Blount was trying to be ironic, but it just didn t feel that way. This wasn t quite as brilliant as the first chapter, included as teaser in the New Work Times book review a few weeks ago, led me to expect But there is plenty of good stuff to cheer and amuse the reader The book is formatted like a dictionary, in which each entry is an idiosyncratic riff by Blount on some aspect of the alphabet, words, the English language, language generally, or English usage Blount is a member of the American Heritage Dictionary usage panel What do I mean by idiosyncratic riff Here is a representative sample Why do so many reduplicative expressions e.g heebie jeebies in English begin with h than with any other letter with an impressive list of 54 examples Origins of the word mansuetude.Menu ese language atrocities culled from menus.Goldwynisms The non admissibility of hopefully Blount comes down squarely against it A position I disagree with it seems to me to fill the same need as its German equivalent hoffentlich and Blount s charges of ambiguity seem unconvincing to me.Synesthesia.Great one word, two word, and three word sentences e.g Fuhgeddaboudit , Nooses give , Omit needless words.Ruminations on each of the individual letters of the alphabet.To me, Blount s thoughts about the individual letters of the alphabet were hit or miss, with misses than hits Another recurring theme of his which was reasonably amusing the first couple of times he brought it up, much less so the fifteenth, was the property he refers to by the cutesy irritating coinage sonicky Blount uses it to mean a broader kind of onomatopoeia a sonicky word is one which is acoustically appropriate to its meaning As examples he cites chunky , squeeze , foist The concept didn t bother me particularly, but Blount s obsessive returning to it every few pages got old really fast, and the term sonicky should have been put down at birth My final complaint about Alphabet Juice is the unforgivable lack of an index a lazy, annoying omission.But this is mere caviling These are minor flaws in a book which has than its share of highly amusing entries Blount s enthusiasm for language, and his appreciation for its oddities, are infectious This would make a good gift for any language lover on your Christmas list That is, assuming he or she already owns the five star Limits of Language by Mikael Parkvall This book is awful If I wanted some bastard s pompous opinion and whiny complaints about how the English language should work the way he wants it to, Id hang out outside the Starbuck s begging for it I checked this out expecting humourous etymologies, but instead I got 3% etymologies, and 97% random whiny blurbs of awfulness