Long Time Leaving ) is a contributing editor to the Atlantic Monthly , a regular panelist on NPR's

Alphabet Juice

Roy Blount, jr., Author Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux $25.95 (364p) ISBN 978-0-374-10369-9

Blount (Long Time Leaving ) is a contributing editor to the Atlantic Monthly , a regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! quiz show and a usage consultant to the American Heritage Dictionary . He displays his pleasure in words with his subtitle—“The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; with Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory”—as he dishes up an alphabetical array of “verbal reverberations,” weasel words and linguistic acrobatics from “aardvark” to “zoology” (“Pronounced zo-ology. Not zoo-ology. Look at the letters. Count the o 's”). Along the way, he compares dictionaries, slings slang, digs for roots, posts ripostes and dotes on anecdotes. The format is nearly identical to Roy Copperud's still valuable but out-of-print A Dictionary of Usage and Style (1964). Blount's book is equally instructive and scholarly, but is also injected with a full dose of word play on steroids. Quotes, quips, euphemisms, rhymes and rhythms, literary references (“Lo-lee-ta”) and puns: “The lowest form of wit, it used to be said, but that was before Ann Coulter.” Throughout, the usage advice is sage and also fun, since the writer's own wild wit, while bent and Blount, is razor sharp. (Oct. 21)

Reviewed on: 08/18/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 283 pages - 978-0-374-53337-3
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-2278-4
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4299-6042-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-0493-6
Paperback - 364 pages - 978-0-374-53204-8
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.