Alphabet Juice

  • by Roy Blount Jr.
  • 5 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

After 40 years of making a living using words in every medium, print or electronic, except greeting cards, Roy Blount Jr. still can't get over his ABCs. In Alphabet Juice, he celebrates the juju, the sonic and kinetic energies of letters and their combinations. Blount does not prescribe proper English. The franchise he claims is "over the counter" and concentrates more on questions such as these: Did you know that both mammal and matter derive from baby talk? Have you noticed how wince makes you wince? Three and a half centuries ago, Sir Thomas Blount produced Blount's Glossographia, the first dictionary to explore derivations of English words. This Blount's Glossographia takes that pursuit to other levels. It rejects the standard linguistic notion that the connection between words and their meanings is "arbitrary." Even the word arbitrary is shown to be no more arbitrary, at its roots, than go-to guy or crackerjack. From sources as venerable as the OED (in which Blount finds an inconsistency, at whisk) and as fresh as (to which Blount has contributed the number-one definition of "alligator arm"), and especially from the author's own wide-ranging experience, Alphabet Juice derives an organic take on language that is unlike, and more fun than, any other.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Audio format doesn't suit...

I think Roy Blount Jr. is a marvelous commentator and comic, but this book just does not work in audio format. Imagine someone reading Bartlett's Quotations to you--even if you might have enjoyed a few quotations, it would quickly grow pretty tedious no matter how skilled the reader. In print, this is the sort of book you might enjoy a few pages at a time before falling asleep or waiting for the kettle to boil. Or to put it a bit more crudely, it's the perfect bathroom book.
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- Diane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-02-2008
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio