Alphabetter Juice by Roy Blount Jr.

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This objection stated, I will make no more unkind remarks about the book. It is for the most part a sensible and highly entertaining follow-up to the equally entertaining 2008 Alphabet Juice...
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Fresh-squeezed Lexicology, with Twists



No man of letters savors the ABC's, or serves them up, like language-loving humorist Roy Blount Jr. His glossary, from ad hominy to zizz, is hearty, full bodied, and out to please discriminating palates coarse and fine. In 2008, he celebrated the gists, tangs, and energies of letters and their combinations in Alphabet Juice, to wide acclaim. Now, Alphabetter Juice. Which is better.



This book is for anyone—novice wordsmith, sensuous reader, or career grammarian—who loves to get physical with words. What is the universal sign of disgust, ew, doing in beautiful and cutie? Why is toadless, but not frogless, in the Oxford English Dictionary? How can the U. S. Supreme Court find relevance in gollywoddles? Might there be scientific evidence for the sonicky value of hunch? And why would someone not bother to spell correctly the very word he is trying to define on Urbandictionary.com?



Digging into how locutions evolve, and work, or fail, Blount draws upon everything from The Tempest to The Wire. He takes us to Iceland, for salmon-watching with a "girl gillie," and to Georgian England, where a distinguished etymologist bites off more of a "giantess" than he can chew. Jimmy Stewart appears, in connection with kludge and the bombing of Switzerland. Litigation over supercalifragilisticexpialidocious leads to a vintage werewolf movie; news of possum-tossing, to metanarrative.



As Michael Dirda wrote in The Washington Post Book World, "The immensely likeable Blount clearly possesses what was called in the Italian Renaissance ‘sprezzatura,' that rare and enviable ability to do even the most difficult things without breaking a sweat." Alphabetter Juice is brimming with sprezzatura. Have a taste.





 

About Roy Blount Jr.

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Roy Blount Jr. is the author of twenty previous books, covering subjects from the Pittsburgh Steelers to Robert E. Lee to what dogs are thinking. He is a regular panelist on NPR’s Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me! and is a member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel. Born in Indianapolis and raised in Decatur, Georgia, Blount now lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, painter Joan Griswold.
 
Published May 10, 2011 by Sarah Crichton Books. 305 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Jun 10 2011

This objection stated, I will make no more unkind remarks about the book. It is for the most part a sensible and highly entertaining follow-up to the equally entertaining 2008 Alphabet Juice...

Read Full Review of Alphabetter Juice | See more reviews from National Post arts

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