WORDLORE by Duane Clayton Barnes


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This for the people who are fascinated with words, their sources, derivations, history, the odd bits of etymological lore and so on. For one who cut her eye teeth on Trench On Words, and has avidly absorbed anything of the kind that come her way in the years since, any book of this kind is better than cryptograms or crossword puzzles. But this particular volume is highly specialized, and limited in appeal. There is no attempt to develop a particular thesis. It is just a collection of oddities- belonging to the hybrid language that calls itself English; it is an exploration of the international highways and byways along which our words reached us and arrived at their meanings; it is an exploration into some of the mistakes in pronunciation, the corruption of foreign phrases, wrong combinations, wrong divisions- the accidents that brought us such words as mongoose, demijohn, salt cellar. There are stories behind words -- there are word families that supply clues- there are literal meanings that often reveal the growth in language. For the specialists- this is fun.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1948
Publisher: Dutton