Never enough words: how Americans invented expressions as ingenious, ornery, and colorful as themselves

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Random House, Mar 30, 1999 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 278 pages
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ain explores the interconnections between the American character and history and the evolution of the American language. From the humorous -- the lawyer bird, named for its long bill -- to the sonorous -- whippoorwills and katydids, named for the sounds they make -- he demonstrates how our distinctive American traits have shaped and been echoed in our language, and, in so doing, demonstrates the fact that language is a living thing.

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Never enough words: how Americans invented expressions as ingenious, ornery, and colorful as themselves

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

McQuain, guest columnist for William Safire's "On Language" column in the New York Times Magazine, surveys "memorable terms" from the "Pathfinder" of the 1840s to the Pathfinder mission to Mars. What ... Read full review

Review: Never Enough Words: How Americans Invented Expressions as Ingenious, Ornery, and Colorful as Themsel ves

User Review  - Amy - Goodreads

Interesting. Vignettes that weren't really well tied together... Read full review

Contents

Practicality
17
Boldness
33
Orneriness
47
Copyright

10 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Jeffery McQuain has been guest columnist for William Safire and has a national reputation as a word history expert and Shakespeare scholar.