The Endangered English Dictionary: Bodacious Words Your Dictionary Forgot

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9780393316063: The Endangered English Dictionary: Bodacious Words Your Dictionary Forgot

"Like animals, plants and book reviewers, words can become extinct, but Grambs is here to salvage the most missed of the lexical dinosaurs."―Patricia Holt, San Francisco Chronicle

We often hear about the richness of the English language, how many more words it contains than French or German. And yet modern desk dictionaries are the result of a paring away of that glory, so that merely standard, functional, current words remain. The price we pay for such convenience is the thousands of delightful words we never see or hear.

This book is an effort to save some of those words applicable to everyday life and countless word games from extinction. The resultant treasure trove of exotic verbal creatures is an indispensable resource for every lover of language.

A selection:

  • egrutten: having a face swollen from weeping
  • numquid: an inquisitive person
  • sardoodledum: drama that is contrived, stagy, or unrealistic
  • mimp: to purse one's lips

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Review:

Sometimes it seems that there are as many collections of archaic words as there are archaic words. Most of them are amusing in their own esoteric sort of way, but few aim for more than entertainment value. David Grambs watches over words gone (or going) by in the same way that the National Wildlife Federation watches over grizzly bears and timber wolves. He would like his readers to think of his Endangered English Dictionary as "a constant reminder of the words that could have been, that fell through the cracks. Or--" he challenges, "if you and enough others make imaginative use of this book--that still could become part of our everyday usage." Toward this goal, Grambs has chosen "common-use, nontechnical words," and he has arranged his book as a two-way dictionary.

So if you are looking for a compact way to describe something--a flower, say--that smells strongest at night, try "noctuolucent." If you were a delicate blossom, or even a whole "tuzzymuzzy" (a bunch of flowers), you too might wish to avoid the "sizzard" (unbearably humid heat) of summer days. --Jane Steinberg

About the Author:

David Grambs has worked as a lexicographer, editor, travel reporter, and translator. He is the author of five other books pertaining to the English language, including The Endangered English Dictionary, and is coauthor of So You Think You Can Spell? with Ellen S. Levine.

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.We often hear about the richness of the English language, how many more words it contains than French or German. And yet modern desk dictionaries are the result of a paring away of that glory, so that merely standard, functional, current words remain. The price we pay for such convenience is the thousands of delightful words we never see or hear. This book is an effort to save some of those words applicable to everyday life and countless word games from extinction. The resultant treasure trove of exotic verbal creatures is an indispensable resource for every lover of language. A selection: * egrutten: having a face swollen from weeping * numquid: an inquisitive person * sardoodledum: drama that is contrived, stagy, or unrealistic * mimp: to purse one s lips. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780393316063

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. We often hear about the richness of the English language, how many more words it contains than French or German. And yet modern desk dictionaries are the result of a paring away of that glory, so that merely standard, functional, current words remain. The price we pay for such convenience is the thousands of delightful words we never see or hear. This book is an effort to save some of those words applicable to everyday life and countless word games from extinction. The resultant treasure trove of exotic verbal creatures is an indispensable resource for every lover of language. A selection: * egrutten: having a face swollen from weeping * numquid: an inquisitive person * sardoodledum: drama that is contrived, stagy, or unrealistic * mimp: to purse one s lips. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780393316063

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