All in a Word

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Melville House, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 305 pages
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Delve into the hidden nature of words:
An irresistible mix of information, curiosity, and fun


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.
 

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Contents

1 Thinking in Metaphors?
2 Gassers and SlashersDOCTORS SLANG
3 Beatles versus Stones
4 Making Up Words
5 How Many Words Do You Know?BASIC WORDS TEST
6 Car Names
7 Whose Nickname is That?
8 Choosing the Right AdjectiveWRITERS WORDS
61 Playing with Words
62 The Family Tree of English
63 Do You Understand Shakespeare?
64 A Standard History
65 SyllablesTHE STRUCTURE OF WORDS
66 You Silly PoliticianCHANGES OF MEANING
67 Where Do English Words Come From?THE PUZZLE OF INDOEUROPEAN
68 Majestic RadianceSHAKESPEARES NEW WORDS

9 Guessing Games with Words
10 Superheroes in CyberspaceSCIENCE FICTION WORDS
11 What Does a Word Mean?
12 Cooking with Words
13 Fardling GwiksSTRUCTURE VERSUS CONTENT WORDS
14 Gender and First Name
15 Words with Many MeaningsTHE CASE OF HOUSE
16 Words in the Blender
17 Soft Mellow Fragrant and SweetALCOHOLIC WORDS
18 Of Mice and MousesENGLISH PLURALS
19 Common Words
20 Nicknames RuleTHE POWER OF NICKNAMES
21 Levels of Meaning
22 Proper Names to Words
23 The Shortest Word
24 JetSpeakWHATS THE POINT OF LONG WORDS?
25 Divided by the AtlanticAMERICAN AND BRITISH WORDS
26 Indian Words in English
27 Written Words That are Seldom Spoken
28 Sex and Gender
29 Where in the World Do They Come From?REGIONAL ENGLISHES
30 Atoms of Meaning
31 Word Games with Letter Arrangement
32 Stuff and NonsensePHRASES WITH AND
33 Body Parts in Metaphors
34 English Names for Foreign Places
35 Did Jeeves Speak French?FRENCH WORDS IN ENGLISH
36 Historian or Lawgiver?THE PURPOSES OF DICTIONARIES
37 English Words in Japanese
38 Word Associations
39 Seeing Colors
40 Progenies of LearningMALAPROPISMS
41 Hankypanky with IgglepiggleREDUPLICATIVE WORDS
42 Is the Sea Blue or Do I Just See It as Blue?LINGUISTIC RELATIVITY
43 At a Loss for WordsAPHASIA
44 How Old are Your Words?THE VOCABULARY OF DIFFERENT GENERATIONS
45 The Birdiest BirdPROTOTYPES
46 Tasting the WormSPOONERISMS
47 Tip of the Tongue Test
48 Can the Can Suzi QuatroWORDS AND MULTIPLE MEANINGS
49 Can Sounds and Letters Have Meanings in Themselves?SOUND SYMBOLISM IN WORDS
50 ConcordancingFINDING OUT ABOUT WORDS
51 Apes and Words
52 Word Games with Restricted Production
53 Chaucers Words
54 Igpay AtinlayPIG LATIN
55 Forming New Words
56 Which Words Change Historically?
57 Proper English Food?THE HISTORY OF FOOD WORDS
58 What Does Oprah Winfrey Mean to You?THE SEMANTIC DIFFERENTIAL TEST
59 Stressedout Nouns
60 Dr Johnsons Definitions
69 Quotations on Words
70 Phrases with Prepositions
71 What is a Word?
72 One English or Many Englishes?
73 From TLV to IKAABBREVIATIONS FOR AIRPORTS
74 Word Games with Sequences
75 Can You Talk Black?
76 Place Names around the Englishspeaking World
77 Childrens Mistakes
78 Four Hundred and Thirty Sets
79 Baby Talk across Languages
80 Night Night MooCHILDRENS EARLY WORDS
81 Ept and ChalantBACKFORMED WORDS
82 More UpCHILDRENS TWOWORD COMBINATIONS
83 Brown Blackbirds and Black BluebottlesCOMPOUND WORDS
84 How Do Children Learn Words?
85 Choosing Words for Reading
86 How Do You Learn New Vocabulary?
87 Jazzin aroundJAZZ SLANG
88 Seven Sieves for Learning a LanguageTHE EUROCOM APPROACH
89 The Visions of Passionate PeopleSLOGANS OF THE 2000S
90 Guessing Words in Context
91 Basic English
92 How to Remember Ten New Words
93 General Semantics
94 Piggy in the MiddleADDING TO THE MIDDLE OF WORDS
95 Simplified VocabulariesPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS AND THOUGHT CONTROL
96 Schizophrenic
97 On FirstName Terms
98 Using Words in Odd Ways
Words Can Damage Your HealthNEWSPEAK
100 How Do You Say No?NEGATION ACROSS LANGUAGES
101 How Many Words Do You Know?ADVANCED WORDS TEST
102 The Longest Word
103 Words for Mother and Father
104 From Pillar to PostOPPOSITES
105 Breeze of the DeathFILM TITLES IN TRANSLATION
106 Does a Méiguì Smell as Sweet as a Rose?
107 Addresses
108 Relatives
109 Pronouns
110 Metaphors in Different Languages
111 Pidgins and Creoles
112 Size MattersBIG SOUNDS BIG THINGS
113 Codeswitching
114 The Basic Human Words
Answers
Sources
References
Index of Themes
Acknowledgements
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Vivian Cook is a professor of applied linguistics at Newcastle University. He is the author of the bestselling Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary: Or Why Can't Anybody Spell, which he was inspired to write 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.

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