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O Thou Improper, Thou Uncommon Noun
Note: This is a paperback edition that lists the ISBN as 0517530813 on the back cover and 0517535114 on the copyright page, both hardback editions.
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published December 12th 1988 by Random House Value Publishing
(first published 1978)
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I return to this book often. Its full title is "Thou Improper, Thou Uncommon Noun: A Bobtailed, Generally Chronological Listing of Proper Names That Have Become Improper and Uncommonly Common; Together With a Smattering of Proper Names Commonly Used...And Certain Other Diversions". Or, as the publisher shortened it for the cover, "An Etymology of Words That Once Were Names". Marvelous, learned, witty, well-ordered, and endlessly browsable. Here's an example: "When the FBI trapped Machine Gun Kel ...more
A happy story: I started The Lightning Thief, a children's book,and then received this book. The first chapter of O Thou deals with words taken from Greek gods, and each entry in the chapter tells a little about each god and why he was important. The Lightning Thief is the story of a boy who is half-god and he is being sought by many other Greek mythological creatures. O Thou gave me enough info about each god and mythological creature mentioned in The Lightning Thief to help me anticipate event ...more
Willard Richardson Espy was a U.S. editor, philologist, writer, and poet.More about Willard R. Espy...