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I sure wish I had known about Roy Blount when I was in elementary school. From the moment I learned about onomatopoeia I felt very strongly that all words partook of this quality, if not from their origin then in the course of their co-evolution with their sound. Of course I did not know about origins or evolution in biological life but I felt it instinctively in the life of letters. My feelings about the letter B are well known to family and friends of the time. While we may disagree on interpretations of specific relationships of sound and sense I was delighted by your numerous examples and just knowing a kindred spirit commanded such a high place. As a child I loved reading the notes in the word entries of the AHD and the chance to read more elaborate notes on the letters themselves is a pleasure I never anticipated.
I must take issue with many of Blount's anecdotes and digressions … more on that later.
 

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lively and full of entertaining, if scattershot, nuggets.

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All reviews - 18