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 by Roy Blount Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Three stars for content, one extra for Blount’s espièglerie in writing such an idiosyncratic book. No slouch in the word dept, he brushes Chomsky aside, and argues that words in general have a more onomotopaeic quality than the linguists tend to credit them with. He has all kinds of fun chasing down etymologies and occasionally inventing them, rambling on about his favorite words. For Blount is not a theorist of words, but someone who loves words. As he himself notes, this is a sort of dictionary, not meant to be read through, but browsed. And having browsed it unto completion, I am right glad to have done it. Bless your vocabulary, your thinking, your writing, and your funny bone, and read Alphabet Juice.