Words, Words, Words

Words, Words, Words

Book - 2006
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Explores language in its many varieties through words: the very building blocks of our communication. This work invites us to engage linguistically with who we are: to understand what words tell us about where we come from and what we do. It suggests ways that we can look at words anew and get involved with collecting and coining words ourselves.

Book News
Though lacking the high moral stance of Eats Shoots and Leaves, this small volume will also appeal to anyone interested in the origins, use, and peculiarities of English as well as the power and changeability of all language. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Oxford University Press
"Lexicography is not just an exercise in linguistic accounting," writes preeminent English language scholar David Crystal in this exceptionally lively and erudite little book. "It is a voyage of lexical exploration and discovery."
In Words, Words, Words, Crystal takes readers on a fascinating linguistic adventure, exploring the English language in all its oddity, complexity, and ever-changing beauty. Traveling from word origins and word evolution to wordgangs, wordrisks, wordplay, wordgames and beyond, Crystal shares his immense knowledge of, and equally immense delight in, language. He celebrates new words, old words, words that "snarl" and words that "purr," elegant words and taboo words, plain English words and convoluted gobbledegook, eponyms and antonyms, spoonerisms and malapropisms, and a host of other written and spoken forms and variations.
Words, Words, Words offers invaluable insight on such subjects as

·how to estimate the size of your vocabulary

·the functions of jargon

·when clich�s are necessary

·the value of slang words ("the chief use of slang/is to show you're one of the gang")

·how to create your own "semantic field"

·dialect humor

·how to become a word detective

·how to keep a record of your child's words

·and much more!
With illuminating sidebars featuring everything from common word origins and sample definitions from the dictionaries of Samuel Johnson and Ambrose Bierce to a passage from Finnegan's Wake and the winning entries of The Guardian Text Message Poetry Competition, Words, Words, Words will both satisfy and spark the curiosity of anyone who has ever been intrigued, befuddled, or awed by words and myriad ways we use them.

Publisher: Oxford, England ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006
ISBN: 9780198614449
Branch Call Number: 422 C889w
Characteristics: viii, 216 p. ; 20 cm


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Apr 26, 2018

Playful, enthusiastic, patient, encouraging, and edifying without unnecessary technicalities. This is the best book on language I've ever read (better even than "Language Instinct")! To determine which is the best part of the book would only reveal the reader's own preferences; the section at the end on participating in lexiquests is most useful (including estimating meanings, one's own wordhoard, and childrens' language learning), even if the sources are sticking mostly to the U.K. and U.S.A., and many web sites have moved. Anyone from age 10 to 100 can enjoy and learn from it.

Mar 25, 2016

David Crystal is a master wordsmith indeed. The topic of the book "Words, Words, Words," is linguistics and the English Language. If this tells you that the book will be very boring you're wrong. Crystal's sense of humour makes the book almost a page-turner. I say "Almost" becuase, much as I would have liked to race through the book I stopped every so often to make notes.

The book has encouraged me to make a list of more books on linguistics that I would like to read -- David Crystal's "How Language Works," leads this list.


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