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Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to Do with Pigs: And Other Fascinating Facts About the English Language
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Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to Do with Pigs: And Other Fascinating Facts About the English Language

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A delightfully addictive compendium of fascinating word facts that does for the dictionary what Eats, Shoots, and Leaves did for the manual of style

With the easy erudition and lively wit that have won her legions of fans, Canada's "Word Lady" reveals the entertaining histories behind 500 of the most common words and phrases in the English language. Who knew that "travel"
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Penguin Books
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Mike
Whimsical etymology, words examined are grouped by a common theme, and the themes are placed in chronological order. For example, the section entitled 'Easter Bonnets' is prefaced with this brief passage: "Easter has traditionally been the time to acquire a new hat, so in this section we look at the the word 'bonnet' and other names for headgear". Arranging the material in such a contrived way ensures that the meaning of the text as a whole cannot well exceed the sum of its parts; each bit of tr ...more
Mary
I received this copy at the annual indexing conference, where the author was the keynote speaker. Her talk was more or less the short history of the English language given at the beginning of the book, but with extra tidbits of interest to indexers. I also spoke with her during the conference and found her friendly and interested in all aspects of language.

The book, as I understand it, was originally written for short broadcasts on Canadian radio, and the writing style reflects that. It is easy
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Sara
I thought this book was very interesting. I did find the authors writing style to be quite dry; there seemed to me to be very few places where any personality showed through. The etymologies themselves were intriguing and often delightful but overall I found her writing to be very "just the facts m'am." I don't mean that as a bad thing, I still enjoyed the book. That is just how I found it.
Sarah
Jun 06, 2009 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Becky
More entertaining than I'd expected. I think it would have been a better book to read with a computer at hand, rather than on a plane, because I kept coming up with more questions. "Where does THIS word come from?" "Well how about THIS one?"

The author obviously expects people to jump around, rather than reading cover-to-cover as I did, so a lot of information is repeated within the entries.
Gina
If you are a fan of etymology and words, then you will love this book. It clusters words together and tells you about their origin and usage. What was even more fascinating was the historical aspects of the book and discussion about different conquering groups and how it influenced the language especially in regard to pronunciation and spelling of words.
Andd Becker
The words about pigs form only one small part of the book. The subtitle about fascinating facts more accurately reflects the book's content. The facts therein are fascinating because of the author's style.
Heather
Jul 05, 2007 Heather rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: word nerds
I'm an English nerd. I admit it.
Meagan
I really liked this book.
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Canadian Oxford Dictionary Only In Canada You Say: A Treasury Of Canadian Language Only in Canada, You Say: A Treasury of Canadian Language Canadian A To Z Of Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to Do with Pigs: And Other Fascinating Facts about the English Language

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