The Disheveled Dictionary

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9780618381968: The Disheveled Dictionary
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With her signature cache of illustrations and flamboyantly gothic examples, Karen Elizabeth Gordon, "who has achieved cult status with her whimsical references, defines an array of daffy, delicious words" (Library Journal). In The Disheveled Dictionary Gordon conjures a world of words, their definitions and myriad uses, and along the way invokes favorite characters from earlier books. Gordon's eccentric wit and unique insights take readers on a delightful romp through the dictionary that will expand their vocabularies and exhilarate their minds. Along the way she celebrates not only the obscure but also our most beloved and basic words. The Disheveled Dictionary is a treat for anyone who loves language -- its sound, its sensuality, its ability to surprise and delight.

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Review:

Pretty little novelty vocabulary books often provide unimaginative, unpoetic definitions for strange and beautiful words that one could never imagine actually using in a sentence. Karen Elizabeth Gordon's Disheveled Dictionary is quite the opposite. Gordon offers up usable if somewhat underused words (such as "amplitude," "crepuscular," "maudlin," and "recidivistic"), many of which we're not quite sure we know the exact meaning, illustrating them in the wildly creative fashion that she has perfected in her grammar texts (The Deluxe Transitive Vampire, The New Well-Tempered Sentence, and Torn Wings and Faux Pas). "The more ample one's lexicon," writes Gordon (as her alter ego "Yolanta") in the book's preface, "the more supple one's thought, the more daring, charged, engaged." "Jonquil Mapp," another of Gordon's stable of crafty characters, adds that "What's most exciting ... is not where a word has been but where it's going, what you will make of it."

This book is best described by example, so here is Gordon's illustrative use of that excessive pride or self-confidence we call "hubris": " Adipose Rex, a modern drama with ancient Greek overtones, is about a king whose hubris vis-a-vis his heart and his tragic proclivity for tiropitas, pastitsio, and baklava bring on his comeuppance coronary." --Jane Steinberg

About the Author:

Karen Elizabeth Gordon is the author of the classic and comic reference books The Deluxe Transitive Vampire, The New Well-Tempered Sentence, and Torn Wings and Faux Pas. Her wanderlusting fiction includes The Ravenous Muse, The Red Shoes and Other Tattered Tales, and Paris Out of Hand. She lives in Berkeley, California and Paris.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780395689905: The Disheveled Dictionary: A Curious Caper Through Our Sumptuous Lexicon

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0395689902 ISBN 13:  9780395689905
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 1997
Hardcover

9780756782108: Disheveled Dictionary: A Curious Caper Through Our Sumptuous Lexicon

Diane ..., 1997
Hardcover

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Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. With her signature cache of illustrations and flamboyantly gothic examples, Karen Elizabeth Gordon, "who has achieved cult status with her whimsical references, defines an array of daffy, delicious words" (Library Journal). In The Disheveled Dictionary Gordon conjures a world of words, their definitions and myriad uses, and along the way invokes favorite characters from earlier books. Gordon's eccentric wit and unique insights take readers on a delightful romp through the dictionary that will expand their vocabularies and exhilarate their minds. Along the way she celebrates not only the obscure but also our most beloved and basic words. The Disheveled Dictionary is a treat for anyone who loves language -- its sound, its sensuality, its ability to surprise and delight. Seller Inventory # APC9780618381968

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Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. With her signature cache of illustrations and flamboyantly gothic examples, Karen Elizabeth Gordon, "who has achieved cult status with her whimsical references, defines an array of daffy, delicious words" (Library Journal). In The Disheveled Dictionary Gordon conjures a world of words, their definitions and myriad uses, and along the way invokes favorite characters from earlier books. Gordon's eccentric wit and unique insights take readers on a delightful romp through the dictionary that will expand their vocabularies and exhilarate their minds. Along the way she celebrates not only the obscure but also our most beloved and basic words. The Disheveled Dictionary is a treat for anyone who loves language -- its sound, its sensuality, its ability to surprise and delight. Seller Inventory # APC9780618381968

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