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Alphabetter Juice: or, The Joy of Text

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  144 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Fresh-squeezed Lexicology, with Twists

No man of letters savors the ABC’s, or serves them up, like language-loving humorist Roy Blount Jr. His glossary, from ad hominy to zizz, is hearty, full bodied, and out to please discriminating palates coarse and fine. In 2008, he celebrated the gists, tangs, and energies of letters and their combinations in Alphabet Juice, to wide ac
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 504)
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Khris Sellin
Who knew reading the dictionary could be so much fun? Blount makes up his own dictionary of his favorite (and not-so-favorite) words and phrases. He brings the same wit and humor that we all know and love from his turns on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me."

It's loaded with his brand of political humor too. Here's the entry for the term "first sentence":

"Generally an author takes great pains with the first sentence of his or her book. I know I have never been quite satisfied with any of mine. But
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Cheryl Gatling
I fell in love with Roy Blount, Jr while listening to him clown around on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me. This book (and the previous Alphabet Juice) has only cemented my admiration for the man who is both more intelligent and goofier than most of the people I know. (Or should that be "have only cemented"? RBJ cares about things like subject-verb agreement.) Alphabet Juice is built on the premise that most words are not arbitrarily assigned, but sound like the thing they mean; to use the author's ow ...more
Brian
Jan 27, 2013 Brian rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: muchmores, wait! wait!
(2.0) At times entertaining, but lots of Blount primping and proselytizing sonicky

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Blount's primary goal was furthering the cause of getting sonicky into OED so he can get a word he coined into the word hall of fame. I see the need for a word with that definition, so it's fine to mention it a time or two, but seemed like every other entry in this book made reference to it.

There were some entertaining entries, but overall I think he picks odd entries, odd storie
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Ron
I love Roy Blount Jr. He is funny and thoughtful. This is a follow up to his "Alphabet Juice". Following the same format, Blount explores words; their meaning, their origins and their use. Some of the best stories Blount tells, I get to pass along to friends. I always get a laugh. Thanks Roy. This is a fun way to get to know and understand the language we all speak differently and a way to be edified and have fun at the same time. Enjoy it.
Bill Sleeman
I wanted to like this book, I really did, but sad to say this is truly a boring and uninspired book. The subtitle while certainly “juicy” or at least a half-way decent pun does little to convey the poor quality of this effort. You know that a book has failed to catch your attention when the free newspapers that the street people give away on the DC Metro are more engaging than the book you have with you.

There are better books about dictionaries (Winchester’s “The Meaning of everything: the stor
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Nathan Hetrick
I think this book is witty, entertaining, and droll. However, since I read Alphabet Juice: 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 earlier this year, I must admit I was a bit anxious to finish its sequel by the time I got to letter "T". I guess two of his books in six months was a bit too much!
Jc
I rated this 4 stars and didn't care for it at all. I can see the work that went into writing this and it is a noble effort. It simply doesn't work for me. Through all of the effort I only see a stream of consciousness collection of one liners.
Tim Healy
If you're interested in language, this is a good book for you. It's an etymology of words that are used and misused regularly. All from the slightly skewed perspective of writer, humorist, and frequent contributor to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on NPR, Roy Blount, Jr. It's a fun book, but won't be everyone's cup of tea.
Jeff Crompton
Reviews of Roy Blount's books tend to range pretty widely; readers either love him or find him exasperating. I think this has to do with his love of digression; he'll roam fairly far afield from the subject at hand. I often find his digressions to be the most interesting parts of his writing. As such, I liked this book; in a sense, it's all digression. Blount follows his nose in his examination of English words; his last entry, on zythum, devotes more space to hop than to the supposed subject of ...more
Danielle
I won an autographed copy of this book at the American Library Association's annual conference. In this follow-up to Alphabet Juice, Blount, Jr examines language through his own observations on words and phrases as well as research on their pronunciations and origins from a variety of sources. There was a lot of humor integrated into many of the entries, but as there is no narrative arc I found the book a little tedious to read. It's kind of like trying to sit down and read the encyclopedia stra ...more
ccccurt Heimbuck
This is one of those wonderful books that frees you from bookmark tyranny. I'd challenge myself to read all sequential entries for a letter but soon the "see: peeve" at the bottom of the page would send me thumbing the pages.

That means I haven't read every single word. I like etymology more than most people I know, but Blount likes it a lot more, and I skipped over some sentences that had PIE in them. But I read enough words twice and three times (often times out loud to my wife) that I can con
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Karen
A book about words, etymology and runaway trains of thought.
K.M. Weiland
I wasn't sure what I was getting in this book. Mostly, I bought it just because it was a buck fifty and pushed me over the Free Super Shipper Savings on Amazon. An annotated dictionary about the history of words. As a word nut, that sounded attractive. But it could very easily have ended being super tedious.

Not so. Not so at all. This book is a charmer from start to finish. Folksy, funny, self-indulgent in all the best ways, and downright educative. It's not juicy, so much as chewy - in a salty,
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Frank
I didn't get the humor spread amongst the loosely coupled information. I wanted to like it but I just missed the point of the book.
Lindig
As usual, Blount is a delight to read. Here, in this sequel to "Alphabet Juice," he serves up a new helping of words and etymologies and discursions. Naturally, some comments are laugh-out-loud funny. And he gets quite stern when discussing "y'all" or "you-all" and its purported singleness of tense. I, being a fellow southerner, emphatically agree: y'all is plural, now and forever, amen.

Bye, y'all.
Dave
Like every other sequel I can think of, this wasn't as good as its predecessor. I laughed every now and then, and I was terribly impressed at Roy's erudition and worldliness, but too many of the entries wandered too far off into tedium and distraction. I'm grateful, though, that he too hates it when authors use "well" to draw attention to their own cleverness!
Cade
This book was a lot of fun to read. I liked Alphabet Juice a little better, but this was very fun to read. If you like words you should pick this book up. Then again, I have spent the last several days fixated on words and how people use them. I almost commented, "Hey, that was a sonicky word." during a conversation.
Robin
I prefer "Alphabet Juice" perhaps because when I read that, it was new to me. There were many fun aspects to this and, as a word nerd, I did find it quite entertaining-- most of the time. Some of it I found a bit mundane while at time I laughed out loud and had to share with my (not always receptive) company.
Elizabeth Walls
This book should be required reading for many authors. Blount loves words and the way they work together. Interesting read about the history of words, how they are related to each other, and the joy of language. A little to much obsession with some words that polite people don't use.
Tammy
This is right up my alley - sharp, witty, playful - it tackles what some would consider to be dry subject matter and makes it a joy to read. I imagine it's not for everyone. I found it delightful, but I find etymology to be delightful in general.
Lynne
Okay book. It was a little too scattered and frenzied for me, or maybe I just wasn't in the mood to read about the origins and interesting tidbits of words. Good book to keep in the bathroom and pick up every once in a while.
Michelle
This is another fun romp through the alphabet with Blount. He's no dusty prescriptive grammarian, rather he celebrates the richness of English. Perhaps not as juicy as his first installment but still a quenching read.
Terri Jacobson
This sequel to Alphabet Juice was just as fun as the original. If you love words and reading and knowing how language develops and where words come from, this is the book for you.
Odoublegood
a miscellany, with some entries better than others; parts of the book make for good reading aloud
David
Onomatopoei-
a and etymology:
Blount loves him some words.
Ron
Decent collection of Roy Blunt's views on particular words.
Reedz0r
i think i had too many expectations for this.
Kathy
Not quite as juicy as Alphabet Juice.
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Roy Blount Jr. is the author of twenty-three books. The first, About Three Bricks Shy of a Load, was expanded into About Three Bricks Shy . . . and the Load Filled Up. It is often called one of the best sports books of all time. His subsequent works have taken on a range of subjects, from Duck Soup, to Robert E. Lee, to what cats are thinking, to how to savor New Orleans, to what it’s like being m ...more
More about Roy Blount Jr....
Alphabet Juice: 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 Feet on the Street: Rambles Around New Orleans Long Time Leaving: Dispatches from Up South Robert E. Lee About Three Bricks Shy: And The Load Filled Up

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