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The Language of Names: What We Call Ourselves and Why It Matters
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The Language of Names: What We Call Ourselves and Why It Matters

3.07 of 5 stars 3.07  ·  rating details  ·  59 ratings  ·  9 reviews
As delightful and playful as it is profound and serious, The Language of Names is an absolute original -- a fascinating book that reveals us to ourselves, that demonstrates the endless variety of ways in which names shape our daily lives. Drawing on social and literary history, psychology and anthropology, anecdotes, and life stories, biographer Justin Kaplan and novelist...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 10th 1999 by Touchstone (first published 1997)
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See, now, this could have been a pretty good book. It had a lot of interesting chapters, even if they tended to skim the surface of what initially promised to be a rather fascinating subject. But it's a BIG subject, and the book is relatively short, so you shouldn't expect too much. It's interesting to read about names and social structures...and names and their mystical power...character names in literature. All that was cool, and I was enjoying it. But then, dear me, they got to the...more
It could've been better. Neverthless, it was good enough that I have it sitting on my bookshelf and I read it again now and then. It is a bit dry, but if you read it as if it's a college thesis, you shouldl be fine.
If you like to know where words come from and what names mean, then you will probably like this book. It is filled with lots of etymology and fun little factoids. The focus is on names in the United States.
At times interesting, at times tedious, with some questionable notions about the power of names that would make a fabulous book for discussion.
A random collection of how people/places got their names. I was hoping for a more meaty exploration of the sociolinguistics involved in naming.
This book is all over the place. That being said a great factoid for the origin of names and theory around naming in general.
Jessica Howard
I really think that a book on language and the importance of names should NOT have so many typos.
Outstanding. A great resource for those of us into onomastics.
Nov 21, 2009 Jonathan added it
Shelves: linguistics
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