Sara's Reviews > 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

Alphabet Juice by Roy Blount Jr.
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's review
Dec 04, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, english-language
Read in December, 2009

This book most likely isn't for everyone, in particular those who are already snoring at the mention of a book about the origins, moods, and usage of words. But, for those who fret over getting the most out of language, written and spoken, when they use it, and who see it as a tool and a thing of beauty, this is a great find.

Blount's book is written in entry form, with a section devoted to each letter of the English alphabet, complete with an introductory entry for each letter. This keeps the book from dragging, and allows the author to meander just a little while still operating within the boundaries of certain themes.

Also, Blount is very, very funny.

My only real complaint to register is with his "f-word" entry, in which he claims that use of the word in office environments has come to be viewed as inappropriate because of the complaining of feminists. The same feminists, says Blount, that disparage the use of the phrase "pussy-whipped." Woah there, Roy. The phrase "pussy-whipped" is loaded with misogyny, while "the f-word" is not. I seriously doubt that some feminist front ganged up on that particular obscenity and ruined it for everyone. I have been accused and guilty of being "an uptight feminist," but that word doesn't contain any sort of inherent offense for me. Maybe Blount was trying to be ironic, but it just didn't feel that way.
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