By Julian Burnside
A bonzer (p. 288) dialogue of the unusual yet dinkum (p. 289) pedigree (p. 224) of the naughty (p. 202), nice (p. 212), and, occasionally, obscene (p. 217) English language.
We stay in a torrent of phrases — from radio and tv, books and newspapers, and now from the web. yet, as Julian Burnside reminds us during this new version of the bestselling Wordwatching, phrases are a resource either one of excitement and gear, and will be deployed for sturdy or for ailing.
Some of those essays discover curiosities in strange corners of the language just to remind us of the intense richness of the English language. different items use small issues of language to demonstrate better procedures of cultural borrowing and alter. Burnside’s musings remind us that we should always no longer be alarmed on the instability of the language; particularly, we must always see its wanton borrowings as a resource of its power and power.
Wordwatching additionally reminds us of the necessity to concentrate on the misuse of language within the provider of sinister reasons — even if political, ideological, social, or own. An ear well-tuned to the nuances of vocabulary inoculates the hearer in contrast epidemic of deception.
With 9 new essays, facing matters as various as points in time, fancy phrases, the issues with ‘issue’, bizarre sounds, oxymorons, and the fallacy of ‘wading in’, this revised and accelerated variation of Wordwatching is an engaging demonstration of the facility and the excitement of the English language.
Preview of Wordwatching: field notes from an amateur philologist PDF
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Extra info for Wordwatching: field notes from an amateur philologist
Go away apart both and neither, within which it isn't said with a quick i. examine the checklist: anither: to deliver down, decrease, decrease, humiliate blither: v. to speak nonsense; n. nonsense; and person who makes blithe; a gladdener dither: v. (originally) to tremble, quake, quiver, thrill. Now commonly use: to vacillate, to behave indecisively. additionally as a transitive verb: to confuse, perplex, make fearful mither (moither): to confuse, perplex, bewilder; to fret, trouble, fatigue: so, a good synonym for the transitive experience of dither slither: n. free stones mendacity in nice amounts at the aspect of a rock or hill; a slipping or sliding; v. to slide, slide, waft, esp. on a unfastened or damaged slope or with a clattering noise smither: n. a smith or hammerman; agile or lively (as smiths need to be) swither: v. to be or develop into doubtful; to falter; to be at a loss for words or unsure; to hesitate; n. a nation of agitation or pleasure; a flurry, fluster; adj. the ideal hand part hither: adv. to or in the direction of this position thither: adv. to or in the direction of that position whither: adv. to or in the direction of what position the one fairly present phrases within the checklist are dither and slither. Hither, thither, and whither will be understood by means of most folk, yet utilized by few. Blither is on the fringe of extinction, and the remaining are long past. The fascinating factor concerning the record is the feel which hyperlinks anither, blither, dither, mither, and swither, and a truly worthwhile feel at that: perplexity, uncertainty, indecision. How peculiar that each one yet dither have disappeared, and dither is now weakened since it is used purely intransitively. Blither survives basically within the participial shape blithering, or even in that shape it sounds beautiful dated. Hither, thither, and whither are with regards to out of date now. they maintain the unique Germanic building during which -her indicates move clear of the speaker, and so they range basically within the position of reference (here, there, where). Hither and thither continues to be heard as a drained decorative word, and sometimes so is hither and yon (for yond — this means that on [or to] the farther facet of, beyond). Whither used to be very valuable for individuals with a fixation approximately terminal prepositions: ‘Whither are you going? ’ used to be (for them) to be most well-liked over ‘Where are you going to? ’ Tastes fluctuate. one other oddly evocative sound is -inge. What an unique selection of phrases percentage this little syllable: abstringe, accinge, beswinge, circumcinge, compinge, constringe, dinge, dringe, effringe, elinge, fulcninge, ginge, harbinge, impinge, justninge, linge, minge, prestringe, restringe, scringe, sedinge, sickinge, slinge, springe, stinge, swinge, syringe, and valdinge. It seems like a riff from The Goon convey. and some regularly occurring phrases have the sound: binge, flinch, fringe, hinge, singe, tinge, and bitch. except those seven phrases, it really is demanding to discover a present English notice with inge as its dominant syllable. a superb factor, too: it sounds strange. Any be aware during which unk is the dominant syllable may be evocative, yet now not in an effective way. give some thought to a few of them: alitrunk (an insect’s thorax), begunk (to delude), blunk (to flip apart, to flinch), chew, clunk, crunk (a harsh cry or croak), dunk, flunk, forswunk (exhausted with labour), funk, gunk, hunk, insunk, lunk, plunk, punk, runk, skunk, slunk, spelunk, sprunk, swunk, thunk, and whunk.
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