Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - 5:00pm
A Heaping Helping of Letters, Words, Gists, and Energies from a Beloved Humorist Roy Blount Jr. has made his living using words in every medium, print or electronic, except greeting cards. After his twenty-first book, Alphabet Juice (2008), it finally seemed he’d gotten over his ABC’s. But a single glass of Juice could never contain the etymological goulash that always simmers on the back burner of Blount’s mind. Thus, Alphabetter Juice, a second helping of Blount’s dexterous wordplay and linguistic legerdemain. Rather than proper English, Blount prescribes an “over-the-counter” mélange of a language, unearthing a slew of factoids, fripperies, and flabbergasting phenomena that will change the way you speak—or misspeak. Blount rejects the standard linguistic notion that the connection between words and their meanings is “arbitrary.” As he tells it, the look and sound of our words is pinned crucially to their “definitions”—whatever those are. From sources as venerable as the OED (in which Blount finds an inconsistency, at whisk) and as new as (to which Blount has contributed the number-one definition of “alligator arm”), and especially from the author’s own wide-ranging experience, the freshly squeezed Alphabetter Juice derives a natural take on language that is unlike, and more fun than, any other. Drink up. (Nice cap, Roy.)

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Alphabetter Juice: Or, the Joy of Text Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374103705
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - May 10th, 2011