Brian's Reviews > Alphabetter Juice: or, The Joy of Text

Alphabetter Juice by Roy Blount Jr.
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Jan 27, 13

Recommended to Brian by: muchmores, wait! wait!
Read from November 08, 2011 to January 27, 2013 — I own a copy

(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 stories to tell under entries (that are less than enlightening), and kind of wanders aimlessly at times in an entry and strays far from the original word. As far as I can tell, it was meticulously copyedited, but perhaps not as much for coherence of content?

He also dwells a bit on peeves, which I guess the word obsessed are wont to do. So I can't fault him too much there, though I would've assumed (without having read it) that Alphabet Juice would've covered most of his top botherers.

I do question one of his complaints. In the section on "I", he goes after the Times for quoting someone as saying "Ay, ay, ay", saying she probably didn't pronounce them as in say, but rather "i-yi-yi". Feel he could've at least considered the Spanish ayayay as a possible justification here.

I'm sure there were other entries I was a little disappointed with, but one of the words I was actually looking forward to hearing more about was touchy and its relationship to tetchy, and whatever happened there. Also thought he missed an opportunity to close out the book with zyzzyva, undoubtedly The Last Word in anyone's book (though he says OED ends with zythum? I'm surprised that zyzzyva isn't in there, but haven't got a copy or a subscription to check myself.
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