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All in a Word

100 Delightful Excursions into the Uses and Abuses of Words

Linguist Vivian Cook takes us on a brilliant series of excursions into the history and meaning of words: How do we learn words as a child? How are words born, and why do they die? Why do some never get spoken, and others never written?

Each chapter is charmingly illustrated—and accompanied by a rich assortment of games, lists, puzzles, and quotes. From polite words to crass words, from p-c words to Shakespeare’s words, from food and wine words to jazz and drug words, the book is an exciting exploration into the abundance and variety of words.

VIVIAN COOK, author of Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary: Or Why Can’t Anybody Spell?, is professor of applied linguistics at the University of Newcastle. He was inspired to write his book about spelling out of frustration with those who, not knowing the crucial gender difference between the British spellings Vivian and Vivien, assume from his first name that he is a woman. He lives in Colchester, England.

Praise for Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary

”A delightfully eclectic manual that gently guides the reader through the often infuriating vagaries of an evolving language.” —Independent on Sunday

”A delightful exploration of the English language through spelling.” —The Bookseller

”It takes a special mind to have this much fun with spelling. Mr. Cook clearly enjoys this subject, and his readers will too.” —Jeffrey Kacirk, author of The Word Museum and Informal English

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